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Islamist parties win huge majority in first Egyptian elections after Mubarak

FINAL results in Egypt's first elections since the ousting of disgraced president Hosni Mubarak yesterday showed Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament.

In the vote for the parliament's lower house, a coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood won 47 per cent. The Al-Nour party of ultraconservatives took 25 per cent.

The two parties are unlikely to join forces because of ideological differences, but both have a long history of charity work in Egypt's vast poverty-stricken neighbourhoods and villages, giving them a degree of legitimacy and popularity across the country in areas where newer liberal parties have yet to get a foothold.

POLICE have seized 3.8 million methamphetamine tablets in Thailand's largest drug bust in years. The haul was estimated as being worth one billion baht (€24.5m).

Police Maj Gen Comronwit Toopgrajank said the pills and 71kg of crystal meth were found hidden in an empty house in Bangkok's northern outskirts after a car chase.

SUSPECTED Maoist rebels triggered a powerful land mine yesterday that killed 13 policemen in eastern India. At least two other policemen were injured in the explosion that blew up their minibus in Jharkhand state.

The rebels have been fighting the government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for landless farmers and the poor.

MYANMAR'S most famous political prisoners yesterday voiced support for democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a week after their mass release, but said they would not contest April by-elections for seats in parliament.

The 88 Generation Students Group, which led a 1988 uprising that was brutally suppressed by the military, said it was too soon to form a political party and would take a wait-and-see approach to reforms being initiated by the nominally civilian government that came to power in 2011.

A CROCODILE swallowed a girl in Indonesia as her father looked on helplessly. The 10-year-old girl was searching for turtles with her father and brother in East Nusatenggara province when a giant saltwater crocodile sprang from a river and pulled her in.

Villagers found pieces of her clothing several hours later but there was no sign of her body.

Sunday Independent