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Egypt Premier Faces Criticism Over Unclean Breasts Comments

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A group of lawyers in a rural area south of Cairo has filed a complaint against Egypt’s prime minister, claiming he insulted women in the city of Bani Sweif by saying they were not cleaning their breasts before nursing.

The claim against Prime Minister Hisham Qandil alleges he slandered and insulted the city’s female residents by saying they did not pay enough attention to personal hygiene, resulting in infants coming down with diarrhoea.

Qandil’s comments, made during a televised discussion with journalists earlier in the week, come as Egypt’s Islamist leaders face renewed criticism by secularist and youth-activist groups. They contend President Mohamed Mursi’s government is putting the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood ahead of those of the country and divorcing itself from the reality of a nation where poverty is rife and the economy has yet to rebound from the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

Prosecutors in Bani Sweif said in a faxed statement they had referred the complaint to their counterparts in October 6, a satellite city of Cairo.

Qandil, a former water resources minister who holds a doctorate from the U.S., had been recalling his travels across the country as part of earlier jobs, and discussing challenges including access to clean water and awareness of hygiene.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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