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Ban on Muslim Brotherhood to be delayed

CAIRO — An Egyptian minister said Tuesday that the government would ‘‘postpone’’ the court-ordered dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the country’s state-run media outlet, MENA.

The statement came after an obscure court issued a legally questionable but sweeping decision Monday to ban the Muslim Brotherhood and all related organizations and activities, which appears to grant the military-backed government expansive legal authority to go after the group’s finances and other assets and essentially criminalizes the group’s political and social service work.

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Legal analysts said the contradictory decisions reflect division within the government over how ultimately to deal with the 85-year-old Islamist organization, even as a brutal crackdown against it continues.

‘‘This means that there is no unified decision within the government’’ to ban the brotherhood, said Ziad Abdel Tawab, deputy director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Study. ‘‘It is very apparent that there is a wing of the government negotiating with them and others willing to use security measures until the end against the brotherhood.’’

Since the military coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi from the presidency in July, the faction wanting to obliterate Morsi’s backers has decidedly won out.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been killed and thousands, including Morsi and other leaders, have been arrested, a crackdown that continues daily.

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