Egypt: Police clash with voters, killing one

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December 2, 2005 00:30
1 minute read.

 
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Police clashed with voters, killing one, and barred many from entering polling stations in opposition strongholds Thursday, forcing some to clamber up ladders to sneak in and cast ballots in the final round of Egypt's troubled parliament elections. The vote - considered a key test of President Hosni Mubarak's openness to reform - has turned into a battle between the government and its top rival, the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, Egypt's main Islamic group, has racked up seats in the election's previous two stages last month, increasing its presence in parliament five-fold so far - and prompting a sharp government crackdown and increased violence at the polls. In the town of Kafr el-Sheik, north of Cairo, voters shoved lines of riot police blocking them from the polls. Police tried to disperse the crowd with nightsticks and tear gas, bringing volleys of stones from the voters. Police opened fire, killing one man and wounding 60 people, said Mohammed el-Ashqar, a campaign worker for a leftist Nasserite opposition candidate. El-Ashqar said police fired live ammunition, though the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said rubber bullets were fired.

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