Egypt`s deputy PM quits over sectarian violence

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 21:49

Cairo: Egypt`s deputy prime minister on Tuesday
quit in protest against the way the military-led government
handled the sectarian violence that claimed at least 25 lives
in clashes between Coptic Christians, Muslims and the security
forces here.

Hazem el-Beblawi, also the finance minister, said despite
the "fact that there might not be direct responsibility on the
government`s part, responsibility lies, ultimately, with the
government".

"The current circumstances are very difficult and require
a new and different way of thinking and working," he was
quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

The resignation comes after at least 25 people, including
three soldiers, were killed in deadly clashes between
Christians, Muslims and security forces in the Egyptian
capital on Sunday night, the worst unrest since the uprising
that toppled the Mubarak regime.

The violence erupted after Coptic Christians protesting
against an attack on a church in Aswan clashed with security
forces, forcing authorities to declare curfew in Cairo`s
iconic Tahrir Square area.
"The current circumstances are very difficult and require
a new and different way of thinking and working," he was
quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

The resignation comes after at least 25 people, including
three soldiers, were killed in deadly clashes between
Christians, Muslims and security forces in the Egyptian
capital on Sunday night, the worst unrest since the uprising
that toppled the Mubarak regime.

The violence erupted after Coptic Christians protesting
against an attack on a church in Aswan clashed with security
forces, forcing authorities to declare curfew in Cairo`s
iconic Tahrir Square area.

The resignation of el-Beblawi comes as ruling military
council has ordered a probe into the violence and Coptic
Christian community launching a three-day fast to mourn t

hose
killed.
Copts comprise almost 10 per cent of the population in
Egypt and is considered the largest Christian community in
North Africa.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) governs
the country after a popular movement forced President Hosni
Mubarak to step down in February.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 18:08

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