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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Egypt 'breaks up terrorist ring'
Unrest in Alexandria between Muslims and Coptic Christians
The announcement comes at a time of increased tension in Egypt
Egypt's interior ministry says it has broken up what it describes as a underground terrorist group.

Officials say the group intended to carry out attacks on a number of Coptic Christian leaders and tourist targets, as well as a gas pipeline.

There was no immediate word on the number or identity of those arrested.

The interior ministry said the group was called al-Taefa al-Mansura, or Victorious Faction, and had 22 members based mainly in Cairo suburbs.

It was led by Ahmed Muhmmad Ali Gabr, alias Abu Musab, it added.

"Information, documents and interviews confirmed they had studied carrying out terrorist operations," it said.

It said the group was investigating the manufacture of bombs and poisons and planned to buy land near Cairo for training.

The announcement comes several days after clashes between Muslims and Copts in the city of Alexandria in which at least two people died.

Copts, who form about 10% of the Egyptian population, have accused the government of failing to protect them.

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