Egyptian Democracy On Hold; Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan Violence

By: AP
By: AP
Egyptian Islamists hold pro-Shariah protest... Egypt postpones curfew on shops, cafes by a week... Insurgents shoot dead 3 soldiers in Iraq... Roadside bomb kills Afghan district police chief... Sudan blocks UN force from investigating deaths...

Egyptians relax outside a cafe in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Egypt�s capital prides itself on being city that never sleeps, with crowds filling cafes and shops open into the small hours. So the government is facing a backlash from businesses and the public as it vows to impose new nationwide rules closing stores and restaurants early. Officials say the crisis-ridden nation has to conserve electricity, but they also seem intent on taming a population they see as too unruly. (AP Photo)

CAIRO (AP) -- Hundreds of ultraconservative Egyptian Islamists have held a protest in Cairo to demand the imposition of Shariah, or Islamic law.
Protesters, many of them wearing beards favored by conservative Muslims marched to Tahrir Square in central Cairo from a nearby mosque, chanting: "The people want God's rule implemented." A larger demonstration is planned next Friday, they say.
References to Shariah and how they are worded in Egypt's new constitution have split the nation into two rival camps.
One, led by Islamists, wants firm language that will ensure Islamic law will be fully implemented. They threaten to rally voters against the new constitution when it faces a referendum later this year.
The second group, led by liberals, fears Islamists would turn Egypt to a theocracy where civil liberties are endangered.

CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian minister says that the government has decided to postpone by one week the imposition of a curfew on shops and restaurants that had been intended to save energy and bring order to the street.
The curfew, which had been due to start on Saturday, sparked a broad backlash from businesses and the public. Few businesses will be exempted from the 10:00 p.m. closing time, including those with a tourism license and pharmacies.
Municipal Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen told private TV network Al-Hayat late Thursday that the plan will come into effect next week.
On Friday, the official Al-Ahram daily described Abdeen's remarks as a reflection of "confusion" in a government under pressure from business groups and merchants.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi authorities say insurgents have gunned down three soldiers at a checkpoint near the country's capital.
Police officials said that the early Saturday shooting took place in Taji, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad, and two other soldiers were wounded.
Medics in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Violence has ebbed in Iraq, but insurgent attacks are still frequent.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Officials say a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan has killed a district police chief, as the insurgents increasingly target Afghan security forces amid the drawdown of foreign troops.
Ahmadulah Nazik, who is the administrator of Dand district in Kandahar province, said Rahmatullah Khan died Saturday while trying to reach a police outpost under Taliban attack.
The killing comes a day after four policemen were shot dead in southern Helmand province by their own colleagues. Taliban spokesman Qari Jusuf Ahmedi said the killers fled and joined the guerrillas.
The U.S.-led NATO coalition is continuing its drawdown toward a planned withdrawal of the majority of combat troops in 2014. Insider and other attacks have thrown doubt on the capabilities of the Afghans to maintain control after the transition.

CAIRO (AP) -- The international peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region says its forces were blocked by the military from reaching the destination of an alleged attack that killed 10 people.
A statement by the hybrid U.N. and African Union peacekeeping force, UNAMID, says that mourners brought 10 bodies reportedly killed in Friday's attack to the gate of its headquarters in Darfur on Saturday.
UNAMID says the Sudanese military blocked its convoy from reaching the area of the alleged attack to gather information on the incident.
Friday's attack reportedly took place in Sigili village, located in the Shawa area in North Darfur state.
It is not clear who was behind the killings. Sudan's government has been battling rebel groups in Darfur since 2003. More than 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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