MOSCOW

Hackers hit website of court where punk band was tried

Russian hackers on Tuesday attacked the website of the Moscow court where three members of the Pussy Riot punk band were tried and sentenced to two years in prison for an irreverent protest.

The Russian offshoot of the loose-knit movement known as Anonymous tweeted that it had taken down the website of the Khamovniki district court.

According to search engines’ cached pages, the hackers posted Pussy Riot’s latest song ridiculing President Vladimir Putin on the website, along with calls to release the band members. One headline read: “Putin’s thieving gang is robbing our country! Wake up, comrades!”

The website – hamovnichesky.msk.sudrf.ru – was not available later Tuesday. Court spokeswoman Darya Lyakh said the Supreme Court would demand the hackers face criminal charges.

The three female band members were punished for a provocative stunt in February at Moscow’s main cathedral in which they asked the Virgin Mary to deliver Russia from Putin, who was elected to a third term two weeks later.

CAIRO

Villagers briefly lock up officials over bad water

Villagers briefly locked the Egyptian health minister and a provincial governor inside a hospital room Tuesday after allegedly contaminated water caused hundreds of residents to fall ill, officials said.

A hospital in the Nile Delta province of Menoufia, 40 miles north of Cairo, admitted dozens of people with severe cases of diarrhea, vomiting and high fevers, Health Ministry official Amr Kandil said. Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA said the number of sick people was more than 400.

During a visit by Health Minister Mohammed Mustafa and Gov. Ashraf Helal to the hospital Tuesday, angry family members held up bottles of brackish-looking water and chanted, “drink it.” Then they locked the two officials in a room.

After an hour, the two were released with police intervention. Mustafa ordered closure of illegal and unlicensed sources of water.

Helal suspended government employees responsible for the village’s main source of tap water.