Violence won't affect parliament polls: Egypt

CAIRO – Egypt's Interior Ministry said Wednesday that a recent spate of violence in the country would not affect plans to hold parliamentary polls in March.

"The events Egypt has witnessed since Jan. 25 will not affect plans to hold parliamentary elections," Lt. Gen. Gamal Mukhtar, a senior ministry official, said.

On Sunday, some Egyptian political forces – including the Muslim Brotherhood, from which ousted President Mohamed Morsi hails – staged protests across Egypt to mark the fourth anniversary of Egypt's Jan. 25 uprising, which led to the ouster of longstanding President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

The rallies were marred by violence, however, as protesters clashed with police, leaving more than 20 dead and scores injured.

The government blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the violence, while the Brotherhood said police had used brutal force against demonstrators.

Egypt plans to hold parliamentary polls in March.

The parliamentary polls represent the third step of a transitional roadmap approved by Egypt's political and religious forces – with the exception of the Brotherhood – in mid-2013, in the immediate wake of Morsi's ouster.

Mukhtar said several bombings were carried out across capital Cairo on Tuesday, which he blamed on "terrorist groups."

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