At least 11 members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood were hurt when police used rubber bullets, teargas and batons to disperse thousands of Brotherhood protesters on Tuesday, security sources said. The opposition movement's members had rallied in a number of provinces to protest against government attempts to block them from running in April 8 local elections, Brotherhood and security sources said.
According to Reuters, police used teargas and rubber bullets to break up some 3,000 protesters gathered in front of a courthouse in Damanhour, Beheira, the sources added. One policeman was wounded in Tanta, Gharbia when protesters threw stones at riot police after the police used batons and teargas to break up a demonstration by nearly 5,000 Brotherhood members.
Protests were held in the provinces of Gharbia, Alexandria, Ismailia, Beheira, Sharkia and Sohag, security sources said.
In recent weeks, Egyptian courts have issued hundreds of rulings forcing the government to accept the candidacy of members of the Brotherhood, but the Brotherhood claim authorities have ignored these rulings.
According to Reuters sources, police rounded up 45 Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Gharbia, 35 in Ismailia and 4 in Alexandria, including two men who had received court rulings recognising them as candidates in the forthcoming ballot. On his part, the Brotherhood's deputy leader, Mohamed Habib, told Reuters "Those (Brotherhood) candidates are facing a (ruling) party and authorities that have no respect for the constitution, and who have no regard for laws or consideration for judicial rulings."