Middle East

Egypt elections: Run-off votes held after deadly clashes

Elderly man helped into polling station at Imbaba in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo
Image caption Egyptians in a third of the country's provinces are voting in run-off elections

Egyptians have been voting in a run-off for the second phase of parliamentary elections after days of violence.

Nine of Egypt's provinces are voting, mainly facing a choice between Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist candidates. Turnout is reportedly low.

Thirteen people have been killed since Friday in clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital.

Thousands of women took to the streets of Cairo on Tuesday to demonstrate against their treatment by troops.

The Egyptian foreign minister has responded angrily to comments from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the "systematic degradation" of Egyptian women.

Mohammed Amr said Egypt would not accept interference in its domestic affairs, and that the government was seeking "clarifications over any statements by any foreign official regarding internal Egyptian matters".

Image caption The streets around Tahrir Square in Cairo were quiet overnight for the first time since Friday

Egyptians - and the international community - have been outraged by images showing a woman protester being beaten and dragged along the ground, exposing her underwear.

The ruling military council issued a statement on Tuesday expressing regret for the violations that had occurred. The council apologised to "the great women of Egypt" and said it was taking measures to punish those responsible.

These are Egypt's first elections since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February and are taking place over six weeks. The military council has promised to hand power to an elected president by the middle of next year.