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Egyptian Police Crack Down on Anti-Mubarak Protesters


Egyptian police beat and arrested anti-government activists protesting in Cairo against the possibility of President Hosni Mubarak handing power to his son.

About 300 activists demonstrated Tuesday outside a downtown Cairo palace that serves as Mr. Mubarak's official residence. Many chanted slogans and held signs decrying a potential transition of the presidency to Gamal, the president's son.

Hundreds of police surrounded the protesters. News organizations say police beat and arrested some of the protesters, including a woman, and also blocked others activists from joining the demonstration.

Egypt's 82-year-old president has been in power since 1981 and faces an election next year. Mr. Mubarak has not said whether he will run for another term. Many Egyptians fear democracy will be circumvented if he hands power to 46-year-old Gamal, who serves in a senior ruling party position.

Participants in Tuesday's protest included members of Egypt's Kifaya movement and other opposition parties. Some called for a boycott of parliamentary elections scheduled for November and next year's presidential vote.

Egypt's largest opposition group, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, did not take part in the demonstration. The group is banned by the government but its members occupy one-fifth of the seats in parliament as independents.

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

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