Egypt's military ruler accused "foreign" groups on Wednesday of pushing some Egyptians into "inappropriate actions," as tensions mount between the military and activists who demand reforms.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said in an address to officers that the unspecified "foreign parties feed and create specific projects executed by some people domestically," the official MENA news agency reported.
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Tantawi, who has ruled the country since a revolt overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in February, has faced calls to step aside from activists who are dissatisfied with what they say is the slow pace of reforms.
Tantawi, Mubarak's defence minister for two decades, pledged in his speech to "hand over the country to a legitimate government that has been voted in through a fair election."
His speech came several days after military loyalists, all civilian, clashed with protesters who want the ruling generals to quickly hand over power to a civilian government.
The military has said a parliamentary election will be held this autumn and and that it will relinquish power once a president is elected following those polls.