CAIRO - Egypt must block pornographic websites, its public prosecutor ordered on Wednesday, a move likely to be popular with resurgent religious conservatives, but eyed with suspicion by liberals who fear increasing censorship.

Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud ordered government authorities "to take the necessary measures to block any corrupt or corrupting pornographic pictures or scenes inconsistent with the values and traditions of the Egyptian people and the higher interests of the state."

Mahmoud said his ruling was in response to a 2009 court ruling that such sites be blocked. It was not clear if political prodding had led to the latest decision.

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