Egypt: Tension on final day of constitutional vote

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Egypt: Tension on final day of constitutional vote

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After a tense Tuesday of voting marked by bloodshed, Egyptians are heading to the polls for the final day of a constitutional referendum.

Approval for the new text, presented as a landmark step in the country’s political transition, appears to be a foregone conclusion.

That would clear the way for a likely presidential bid by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi whose military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July.

But as the vote unfolded, officials said at least nine people were killed in clashes between supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the police.

Some of the bloodiest scenes were in Sohag, south of Cairo, where four people are said to have died.

Elsewhere, two bombs went off, one in Cairo and one in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla. No casualties were reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood, subject to a crackdown by the military backed government, has urged a boycott of the referendum. Mursi and other leaders of the group have been arrested and are on trial.