CAIRO - Egypt's prime minister faces accusations of being out of touch with the country's crisis after televised comments blaming rural infant sickness on mothers not washing their breasts.
Hisham Kandil, a former irrigation minister widely seen as a stolid technocrat, was speaking at a meeting with journalists broadcast on state television this week when he veered into a ramble on the "miseries" of life in rural Egypt.
"In my work, I've gone around the countryside," he said. "There are villages in Egypt, in the 21st century, where children get diarrhoea ... because the mothers who nurse them, out of ignorance, do not maintain personal cleanliness of their breasts."
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