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Egypt's Al Sisi: Muslim Brotherhood Is 'Finished'
Egyptian presidential favourite Abdel Fattah al Sisi, who ousted the country's Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi from power, has said the Muslim Brotherhood is "finished".
Speaking in his first television interview of his electoral campaign, he said: "I want to tell you that it is not me that finished (the Brotherhood). You, the Egyptians, are the ones who finished it."
The country has been in turmoil for much of the past three years. Mass protests got rid of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and elections followed a year later.
Mr Morsi assumed office as Egypt's first freely elected and civilian president. But he was in office for little more than a year when he too was removed.
Since then the military-backed interim government has waged a crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood party, declaring it a terrorist group - a claim which it denies.
And Mr al Sisi repeated the allegations during Monday's broadcast, accusing the Brotherhood of links to violent militant groups.
The 59-year-old former head of the army, who is expected to win the May 26-27 poll, also revealed two plots to assassinate him had been uncovered.
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands arrested since the Muslim Brotherhood was banned.
Last week, a judge sentenced the group's spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, and 682 supporters to death in a mass trial.
More than 1,200 people have been accused of attacking both police and public property after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of Mr Morsi last August.
The former president is on trial in Minya in three separate cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace during his time in office.
Mr Mubarak is also on trial facing charges of inciting, agreeing to, and aiding in the killing of protesters during the January 25 revolution.
He is also charged with "spreading chaos in the country, creating a security vacuum", wasting public funds and illegally exporting oil.
Egyptian media have been portraying Mr al Sisi as the only person capable of running the country.
The only other candidate running for the presidency is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in 2012.