CAIRO - Jailed ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be released later this week, judicial officials said Monday, a move that would fuel the unrest roiling the country after the autocratic leader's successor was removed in a military coup.
Underscoring the growing anger over Mohammed Morsi's ouster, suspected Islamic militants ambushed two minibuses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, forcing the men to lie on the sand and shooting 25 of them dead.
The brazen daylight attack raised fears that the strategic desert region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip could be plunged into insurgency.
The 25 were given a funeral with full military honors after a plane brought their bodies to an air base in eastern Cairo. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, and the army's Chief of Staff, Gen. Sedki Sobhi, led the funeral.
The coffins of the victims were draped in red, white and black Egyptian flags and, in a show of solidarity, were jointly carried in the funeral procession by army soldiers and policemen. Earlier, relatives and friends wept over the coffins.
Despite the violence, Cairo, a bustling metropolis of some 18 million people, began to restore a sense of normalcy although the capital remained under a state of emergency and a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Daytime traffic was back to its normal congested levels and stores were open. Government employees also returned to work. And the Central Bank ordered banks to extend by one hour their curtailed opening hours effective Tuesday.
During his decades ruling Egypt, Mubarak frequently warned that Egypt would fall into chaos without him at the helm.