- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

IRAN

Opposition leaders call for rally in June

TEHRAN | A reformist website says Iran’s two top opposition figures have called for a rally to mark the anniversary of the country’s disputed presidential election last June.

Tuesday’s report by Kaleme.com says opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and pro-reformist Mahdi Karroubi are urging people to take part in the rally. They also have called on pro-reform political parties to apply for permission for the gathering on June 12.

The opposition argues that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the election through fraud and that Mr. Mousavi was the rightful winner. Mr. Karroubi also ran in the election and was defeated.

Since June, more than 80 demonstrators have been killed and hundreds of activists and pro-reform figures arrested in the crackdowns on opposition rallies.

EGYPT

Shura Council vote planned for June

CAIRO | Egypt is to hold a partial legislative vote in June, a first step in a round of elections that will test whether the political establishment will grant more say to opposition groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Hosni Mubarak, who has not said whether he will stand for a sixth term next year, has issued a decree calling elections for 88 members of the Shura Council, said Fathi Ragab, deputy head of the council’s constitutional and legislative committee.

The Shura Council, essentially an upper house of parliament, reviews laws before handing them to the lower People’s Assembly for a final vote.

Nominations for candidates will be accepted from May 5, and the vote will take place on June 1, Mr. Ragab said.

Mr. Mubarak has the right to appoint 88 members of the council and the remainder are elected, in two blocks of 88 serving overlapping terms.

IRAQ

Mortars kill 2, injure 14

BAGHDAD | Two Iraqi soldiers were killed Tuesday in an overnight mortar attack on a security station in a Shi’ite neighborhood in northern Baghdad, police and hospitals officials said.

Fourteen people were wounded in the 1 a.m. attack on the joint Iraqi army-police office in the capital’s Hurriyah area, the officials said.

Three mortars hit the security station, according to two Iraqi police officials, and an army colonel was among the wounded. A hospital official confirmed the casualties.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

It was the second big attack in Hurriyah in less than a week.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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