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Egypt denies election death reports

CAIRO, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A human rights group said at least eight people were killed in Egyptian parliamentary election violence but government offcials denied the allegation.

The Nadim Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence said the deaths occurred Sunday in Giza, Alexandria, Farkous, Wadi Notroun, Menouf and al-Arish.

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The Muslim Brotherhood Web site Ikhwanweb.com reported a higher death count, saying the number of people killed was 12.

"Violence and thuggery are the most striking features of this year's elections," Tarek Zaghloul, a representative of the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections, told al-Masry-al-Youm, Monday.

But officials at the Ministry of Information and the Supreme Electoral Commission denied reports of deaths and arrests.

Amid the reports of violence and allegations of vote-rigging and irregularities at polling stations, officials estimated the country's ruling party, the National Democratic Party, was the likely winner. The Iraqi al-Sumaria Web site said Monday early indications show the NDP was in the lead.

"Ballot boxes were mostly non-transparent and transported from polling stations by private cars to unknown destinations, or to police headquarters in preparation for the count ... ," the Muslim Brotherhood Web site said.

Ahmed Fawzy, director of the Egyptian Association for the Enhancement of Political Participation, said the turnout was low, estimating it did not exceed 10 percent of Egypt's 41 million registered voters, al-Masry-al-Youm said.

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