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Egypt's Parliament Extends State of Emergency


Egypt's parliament has extended the state of emergency in the country by two years at the request of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

Mr. Nazif told parliament Sunday the extension of the state of emergency - in effect since 1981 - is necessary because of a recent wave of bombings and communal clashes in the country.

Three suicide bombers struck the Red Sea resort of Dahab on April 24, killing 18 people (plus the bombers) and wounding 90 others. Two days later, two failed suicide attacks were also carried out against security personnel farther north in Sinai.

Violent clashes also broke out earlier this month in Alexandria between Muslims and the Coptic Christian minority.

Emergency law has been in force in Egypt since October 1981, when Islamist militants assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

It gives security forces broad powers to arrest and detain suspects without charge and restrict civil liberties. The emergency law would lapse in June without parliament approval of an extension.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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