Muslim Brotherhood blames ousted regime for sectarian tension

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, has blamed the vestiges of ex-president Hosni Mubarak's regime for being behind recent sectarian clashes.  

Violent clashes erupted yesterday between hundreds of Copts and Salafis in the Zarayeb area of Moqattam, which led to the injury of 51 people and the deaths of at least ten Christians and Muslims.

Coptic Christians were protesting an attack by a group of Muslims on a church in Atfeeh, Helwan south of Cairo earlier this week and what they said was a delay in rebuilding the church.

The crisis was sparked by a romantic relationship between a Coptic man and a Muslim woman.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Muslim Brotherhood accused the remaining members of the ousted regime of attempting to ignite sectarian tensions to destroy national unity.

"These people are operating under the principle of "divide to conquer" and have incited a group of Muslim extremists to bring up other sectarian issues, which should not be discussed at present," the statement read.

Salafis who clashed with the Copts yesterday, called for the release of priests' wives, who they say have converted to Islam and are being detained by the church.

The Brotherhood called on Egyptians to listen to the voice of reason and put the interests of the country ahead of their personal or professional interests.

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