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Egypt's military considers speeding up transition
Egypt's army considers moving up presidential elections in face of calls for it to step down
By The Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) ' A spokesman for an advisory body to Egypt's military rulers says the army is studying ways to accelerate the transition to civilian rule, including moving up the timetable for presidential elections.

Mohammed El-Kholy said Monday the panel of civilian advisers wants to "ease the tension" following street protests on the anniversary of last year's uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, leaving the generals in charge.

The protesters want an immediate end to military rule, and accuse the army of mismanaging the transition and committing human rights violations.

El-Kholy says one suggestion is to hold presidential elections earlier than by the end of June ' the military's current schedule.

Activists say the new proposals could inflame tensions because they squeeze the time allotted for drafting a new constitution.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAIRO (AP) ' An Egyptian security official says gunmen have stormed the branch of a major international bank and robbed an armored car in separate parts of Cairo.

The official said that seven gunmen charged Monday into the New Cairo branch of HSBC Bank on the city's outskirts, firing their weapons in the air, and took money from tellers.

The same day, he said, three gunmen robbed an armored car as it unloaded money at another bank in southern Cairo, fleeing with over 3 million Egyptian pounds ($542,000 dollars).

He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Armed bank robberies are rare in Egypt. Monday's daring daytime raids come amid reduced police deployments following the uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak from power last year.

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