Egypt votes in constitutional referendum

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Rescued migrants wait to disembark an Italian Guardia Costiera vessel at the Sicilian harbour of Catania on April 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)
Egyptians voted for the first time since the military ousted president Mohamed Mursi on Tuesday in a constitutional referendum that may set the stage for a presidential bid by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The vote is seen as a referendum on a likely presidential run by the country\’s army chief, Adbel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted former president Mohamed Morsi in July.
Shortly before the polls opened, a bomb exploded outside a courthouse in Giza.  No casualties were reported.
A group that includes Morsi\’s Muslim Brotherhood urged Egyptians to boycott the referendum and hold peaceful protests against a process they have called illegitimate.
A roadmap set by the military calls for parliamentary and presidential elections to follow later this year.
In Washington, the U.S. State Department Monday expressed concern about reports that people campaigning for a \’no\’ vote have been arrested.
A spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said the United Sates is deeply troubled by reports that at least one individual was beaten during his arrest.
Egyptians living abroad already have voted on the new constitution.
The military removed Morsi from power after opposition protests that accused him of trying to monopolize power.  Authorities have since spent months cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, including arresting many of its leaders and declaring it a terrorist group.
Source: VOA and agencies

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