The Egyptian military have accused members of the dissolved National Democratic Party for inciting religious clashes in the country that could lead to civil war, an influential Egyptian newspaper said on Tuesday.
A total of 12 people died, with another 232 injured in clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians outside a church near the Egyptian capital Cairo over the weekend.
“Leaders of the National Democratic Party decided to use party members, whose numbers are near two million, to commit actions with the aim of defeating the revolution, bringing the country to a state of anarchy and igniting a civil war,” al-Masry al-Youm paper said quoting a military source.
The source said the military had evidence that NDP members had plotted the clashes between radical Muslim Salafists and Coptic Christians in Cairo’s northwestern suburb of Imbaba.
The NDP, President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party, was dissolved by a court order shortly after Mubarak was forced to leave office in February in the wake of mass public protests against his 40-year rule.
The party’s leadership, including Secretary General Safuat al-Sharif and Political Committee Head Gamal Mubarak have been accused of corruption and are currently in custody.
Muslims account for some 90% and Christians for about 10% of Egypt’s 80-million population.
Relations between the two communities are sometimes blighted by acts of violence. The most recent incidents were sparked by Muslim Egyptians’ claims that Christian women who had converted to Islam were kidnapped and forcibly held by Copts.
The Christian minority complains of unfair treatment in the country.
CAIRO, May 10 (RIA Novosti)