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Dozens Protest Egyptian MP's Call for Violence


Demonstrators rally against comment by Mubarak ally that opposition activists should be shot

Several dozen demonstrators rallied outside of Egypt's parliament Tuesday, two days after a member of President Hosni Mubarak's party said opposition activists should be shot.

Some of the protesters in Cairo carried banners saying "shoot us," an apparent reference to comments made by National Democratic Party member Nashaat al-Qasas.

During debate in parliament Sunday, Qasas said he did not understand why the Interior Ministry had been lenient with pro-reform activists involved in recent demonstrations. He said there was no need for law enforcement officials to use water cannons to disperse protesters who, in his opinion, were breaking the law.

Qasas said authorities should instead shoot at demonstrators.

Last week, police clashed with pro-reform activists who staged a rare public protest against President Mubarak. Egyptian authorities had arrested dozens of demonstrators in a similar protest on April 6.

Demonstrators have been calling for constitutional reforms that would allow for open elections and an end to emergency laws that permit indefinite detentions.

President Mubarak has held office for 29 years. His ruling party is expected to dominate parliamentary elections later this year and he is expected to run for president again next year.

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

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