Sectarian killing rattles fearful Egypt

By REUTERS
June 24, 2013 19:49

CAIRO - Egypt's president, accused of fueling sectarian hatred, promised swift justice on Monday for a deadly attack on minority Shi'ites as he tried to quell broader factional fighting to avoid a threatened military intervention.

The army, which handed power to elected Sunni Islamists a year ago after decades of oppression, warned Mohamed Mursi - and his liberal opponents - on Sunday to end an increasingly violent deadlock or see troops back on the streets to impose order.

There was little sign of reconciliation, however. Liberals and Shi'ites accused Mursi, who will make a speech to the nation on Wednesday evening, of fostering sectarian hatred by associating with radical Sunni preachers.

As the defense chief issued his statement, a reminder of the fragility of the polarized new order that has emerged from the revolution of 2011, a mob in a Cairo suburb was raiding a house where Shi'ites were marking a religious festival, killing four and dragging bodies through the streets to cries of "Infidels!".

Local people said police stood by and failed to intervene.


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