Egyptian police clash with opposition, injure 10

Muslim Brotherhood member says police beat and arrested group supporters at Cairo campaign rally.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 20, 2010 18:14
1 minute read.
New Muslim Brotherhood head Mohamed Badie

muslim brotherhood 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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CAIRO — Clashes broke out between the Muslim Brotherhood and police at a campaign rally north of Cairo Saturday, leaving 10 injured amid an intense government crackdown on the opposition group ahead of next week's parliamentary elections.

Abdel Galil el-Sharnoubi, who runs the Brotherhood's website said baton-wielding police beat the supporters of the group's candidate Mohammed Fayyadh and arrested four others in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.

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In a separate incident, police stopped a Brotherhood procession for candidate Simary Mansour in the town of Abu Kibeer, also in Sharqiya, and damaged 12 cars and seized seven others, the group's website reported.

Police were not available for comment on either incident.

The clashes comes amid a wave of arrests against the group, which has the largest opposition bloc in the outgoing parliament, and over the past 48 hours about 300 members of the group and sympathizers have been detained in Alexandria and Sharqiya provinces, said El-Sharnoubi.

"The regime has decided not to tolerate any (Brotherhood) election activity and including even the media campaign and simple peaceful processions," he said, adding 700 members of the group have been arrested since it announced its intention to contest the elections.

In 2005 elections, the Brotherhood surprised the country by winning 88 seats in parliament, a fifth of the body and about 10 times more than any other opposition group.




The organization has predicted, however, that it will lose many of those seats in the Nov. 28 election due to government interference. Though the group is officially banned, candidates can compete as independents.

Unlike in previous elections, there will be no independent judicial supervision at the polling stations for next week's contest. In 2007 the government amended the constitution so that polls will now be supervised by a government-appointed body.

Meanwhile in the southern Egyptian town of Qena, one man died and another was injured by gunfire when candidates from the ruling party appeared at a wedding prompting participants to shoot into the air in celebration.

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