CAIRO, Dec 25 (Reuters) - The Egyptian government formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday as a terrorist organisation, accusing it of carrying out a suicide bomb attack on a police station that killed 16 people.
The move announced by government minister Hossam Eissa gives the authorities the power to charge any member of deposed President Mohamed Mursi's movement with membership of a terrorist organisation, marking an escalation in the army-backed government's crackdown on the group.
Following Tuesday's attack, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi described the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, though Wednesday's move formalises the step.
The Brotherhood condemned the bomb attack, responsibility for which was claimed by a hardline militant group called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. (Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)