Published November 17, 2014
Egypt's ruling generals on Wednesday announced the pardon of 334 Egyptian civilians who were sentenced in military tribunals since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page Wednesday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said the move was to support "the continued communication with the great Egyptian people and the youth of the revolution."
It did not say what those pardoned were sentenced for or when they would be released. It said the names would be released later.
At least 12,000 people have been tried by military courts since January. Human rights groups and Egyptian activists have harshly criticized the practice.
The U.S. government has also called on Egypt to try civilians in civilian courts.
Late Wednesday, an Egyptian border guard was wounded by gunfire when a group of African migrants assisted by Bedouin smugglers attempted to infiltrate across the border into Israel, the state news agency MENA said.
The agency reported that Bedouin smugglers opened fire on the border guard after he tried to stop the migrants from crossing illegally into Israel.
The report did not say whether the African migrants were stopped. African migrants often pay Egyptian smugglers a hefty price to sneak them across the desert border.
More than 30,000 Africans have crossed into Israel since 2005, most of the illegally, according to Israeli government estimates. Most come from Eritrea, Sudan and other African countries plagued by conflict and poverty, fleeing violence and in search of economic opportunity in Israel.