Monday Jun 27, 201109:14 AM GMT
Egypt blames US, Israel for sect strife
Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:35AM
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Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Yehiya al-Gamal
Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Yehiya al-Gamal has blamed the United States and Israel for being engaged in efforts to incite a religious strife to weaken the African country.

“The US and Israel are behind the religious sedition in Egypt [as] they realize this is the only way to break up the country,” said al-Gamal in televised remarks, quoted in a report by MENA news agency.

"Israel is trying to do this because Egypt is the most important power in the region," he emphasized.

Egypt is entangled with sectarian strife in the country following a historic revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Sectarian clashes between Coptic Christians and Saudi-inspired radical Salafists in the capital Cairo claimed 12 lives and injured 100 more in March.

Earlier this month, Egyptian officials arrested a US-born Israeli man, posing as a journalist, with a laptop and three cell phones containing top secret information.

The alleged Israeli spy is suspected of engaging in efforts to incite sectarian tensions among youths in the Egyptian capital during the country's popular revolution, urging them to clash with security forces.

Relations between Israel and Egypt have remained tense since a popular revolution ousted Mubarak from power in February.

Under the US-backed Mubarak regime, Egypt consistently served Tel Aviv's interests in the region.

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