Hagel expressed concern over situation in Egypt

WASHINGTON - The top US defense officialexpressed "concern" about recent developments in Egypt in a callon Sunday to Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,the Pentagon said.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed his condolences forthe victims of a spate of recent bomb attacks in Egypt, andoffered U.S. assistance to investigate the incidents, a Pentagonspokesman said in a statement.

A bomb exploded outside an Egyptian army building north ofCairo on Sunday, the latest in a series of violent incidents inEgypt.

The Egyptian Army labeled the incident a terrorist attack,but did not name the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group itdeclared a terrorist organization last week.

In his call with Sisi, Hagel also "stressed the role ofpolitical inclusiveness," and the two men discussed "the balancebetween security and freedom," spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirbysaid in the statement.

"Secretary Hagel also expressed concerns about the politicalclimate in advance of the constitutional referendum, includingthe continued enforcement of a restrictive demonstrations law,"Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

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