Egypt to lift state of emergency, curfew on Thursday

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will lift a state of emergency and nightly curfews on Thursday, a government minister said, three months after the army enforced the measures amid bloody turmoil that followed its overthrow of an Islamist president.

The state of emergency was imposed in mid-August, when hundreds of people were killed in a crackdown on supporters of President Mohamed Mursi, overthrown by the military on July 3 in response to mass protests against his rule.

"The emergency law will end tomorrow and the curfew will end tomorrow," Minister of Administrative Development Hany Mahmoud told a news conference after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

An Egyptian court had ruled that the state of emergency be lifted on Tuesday, earlier than expected. Mahmoud said the cabinet had to receive formal notification from the court first.

He said a referendum on a new constitution would be held in late December or early January. A 50-member committee is working on amending a constitution that was drafted under Mursi by an Islamist-dominated assembly.

(Reporting by Cairo newsroom; Editing by Alistair Lyon)