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Egypt Frees 34 Political Prisoners

Egypt's state news agency says authorities have released 34 political prisoners, the first to be set free since President Hosni Mubarak's government promised reforms in the face of a popular uprising.

Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy issued an order today releasing the 34 detainees considered to be among the extremist elements, after evaluating their positions, the MENA news agency reported.

MENA said the prisoners had turned themselves into police after escaping from prison during several days of disorder last month.

Human rights groups say it is not clear how many people are detained in Egypt for political activities.