Egypt army chief warns of collapse of state

Associated Press
An Egyptian protester part of the Black Bloc, clashes with riot police, not seen, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. An unpredictable new element has entered Egypt’s wave of political unrest, a mysterious group of black-masked young men calling themselves the Black Bloc. They present themselves as the defenders of protesters against the rule of President Mohammed Morsi, but Islamists have used them to depict the opposition as a violent force wrecking the nation. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's army chief has warned of "the collapse of the state" if the political crisis roiling the nation for nearly a week continues.

The warning by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, also the defense minister, comes as the country sinks deeper into chaos and lawlessness. Attempts by the Islamist president to stem a wave of political violence appear to have made no headway.

Some 60 people have been killed in the unrest that began last Thursday.

El-Sissi's warning came in an address to military academy cadets on Tuesday. His comments were posted on the armed forces' official Facebook page.

"The continuation of the conflict between the different political forces and their differences over how the country should be run could lead to the collapse of the state and threaten future generations," he said.

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