Egypt Army Accuses Activists of Sowing Strife After Friday March

Egypt's military rulers on Saturday accused the April 6 pro-democracy group, which helped launch the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, of sowing strife after hundreds tried to march to the defense ministry.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces -- which took power when former president Mubarak was toppled in February -- accused April 6 of "driving a wedge between the people and the army."

It was the first time a group has been singled out by the SCAF, which called on "the people to exercise vigilance and not to be drawn into this suspicious plot which aims to undermine Egypt's stability."

The statement came after protesters had on Friday gathered in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the canal city of Suez in a renewed push for change.

In Cairo, hundreds of them left Tahrir Square and headed to the defense ministry, the headquarters of SCAF, to denounce the military's handling of the transition.

They were blocked off by hundreds of military police and armored vehicles that closed off large parts of the capital's center, a security official said.

Protesters who first took to the streets to demand Mubarak's resignation have increasingly directed their anger at the military council over the slow pace of reform, accusing it of using the old regime's tactics to stifle dissent.

A new cabinet was sworn in on Thursday, a move that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf had hoped would help placate the protesters camped out in Tahrir Square since July 8.

But the line-up was rejected as cosmetic because it left several ministers hired by Mubarak still in government.

Protesters have vowed to pursue their sit-in until their demands are met, including a purge of the government, the end of military trials for civilians, and the redistribution of wealth.

Source: Agence France Presse

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