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CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood’s political party will seek an inclusive majority in Egypt’s parliament through alliances with rivals, its new chief said, addressing fears of a narrowly Islamist outcome to the uprising against autocratic rule. The Freedom and Justice Party elected Saad Al Katatni, 61, as FJP leader on Friday, replacing Mohammed Mursi who has gone on to become the first elected president of the Arab world’s most populous state.
Speaking to Reuters in his first interview as FJP leader, Katatni pledged a broader political approach before the next parliamentary vote he said could take place around March 2013. “Since the revolution, the FJP has worked to benefit everyone but there could have been more participation allowed to other parties before a decision was taken. This would have made everyone happy,” Katatni said.
“At times, political forces complained not because of the decision but because they were not part of the decision-making process. We will set out to change this,” the 61-year-old microbiologist said. Katatni did not rule out a bloc with the ultraconservative Islamist Nour Party and liberal parties, but underlined that any alliance would be based on common policies, not ideology.
Iraqi officials spar over jail break
Baghdad: Iraq’s deputy interior minister and a police chief fired over a jail break last month in which dozens of Al Qaeda militants escaped traded barbs yesterday over who was to blame for the prison uprising. Major General Abdul Karim Al Khazraji, the top cop in Salaheddin province at the time of the jail break, released a letter dated days before the escape requesting reinforcements, while deputy minister Adnan Al Assadi shot back that the proposal had been approved but Khazraji had failed to act. More than 100 prisoners managed to escape from the prison in the September 27 uprising, but dozens were either killed or re-captured in the subsequent days and weeks. Khazraji was dismissed in the wake of the jail break.
24 schoolgirls killed in Iran bus mishap
TEHRAN: Twenty-four schoolgirls and two other people were killed when a bus overturned and crashed into a valley in the southwest of the country, Iranian media reported yesterday. Fourteen passengers survived the accident late on Friday on a road in Khuzestan province, Fars news agency said. Mehr news agency said 24 of the dead were schoolgirls.