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PHOTOS: Egypt on verge of second bloody revolution

July 03, 2013 11:44 IST

Egypt on verge of second bloody revolution

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The situation on the streets of Cairo is turning bloodier by the day.

Egypt's first democratically-elected President, Mohammed Morsi has rebuffed the powerful army's 48-hour ultimatum to resolve the ongoing crisis, saying that he would not permit "any step backward" from the spirit of the January 25 revolution and pursue his reconciliation plans.

"The civil democratic Egyptian state is one of the most important achievements of the January 25 revolution," said a statement from the presidency, referring to the 2011 pro- democracy protests that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak.

"Egypt will absolutely not permit any step backward whatever the circumstances," the statement added.

An embattled Morsi is looking increasingly isolated, with Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigning on Tuesday. Four other ministers had quit on Monday.

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Image: A graffiti depicting Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi on a wall of the Presidential Palace in Cairo
Photographs: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

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A post on the official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), headed by armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, three hours after Mursi made his statement said: "We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.

Meanwhile, Two more people were killed in clashes in Cairo on Tuesday taking the death toll to 18, as the number of injured throughout the country was nearly 200.

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Image: A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi throws Molotov cocktails at the national headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo's Moqattam district
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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The massive protests throughout the country continued as millions took to the streets supporting the army ultimatum.

Supporters of president Morsi also staged a sit-in in front of Rab'a Mosque and were joined by women for the first time.

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Image: Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi use lasers to write "Egypt" on the Mogamma building, Egypt's biggest administrative building at Tahrir Square in Cairo
Photographs: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

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Egypt on verge of second bloody revolution

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Morsi's opponents accuse him of putting the Brotherhood's interests ahead of the country's as a whole.

Headquarters of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party have been stormed in Egypt's 14 governorates.

A member of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested by military police in Banha for instigating violence and holding arms.

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Image: Protesters, opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, take part in a protest demanding Mursi to resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo
Photographs: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

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Egypt on verge of second bloody revolution

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Media reports said that the army intends to cancel the current constitution, form a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution, assign a presidential council and hold parliamentary and presidential elections once the constitution is passed in a referendum.

The head of the Armed Forces Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi has met President Morsi twice within the past 24 hours.

Morsi offered him to change the cabinet, impeach the prosecutor and amend the constitution. The offer was turned down by the army, media reports said.

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Image: Anti-President Mohamed Mursi protesters hold up their shoes after a speech by Mursi, at Tahrir Square in Cairo
Photographs: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

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The Brotherhood has also refused to make any concessions or hold a referendum on whether Mursi should stay in power.

Meanwhile, Egyptian opposition selected former IAEA chief Mohammad al-Baraei to be their spokesperson and negotiate with the army.

Morsi also met Hisham Qandil and el-Sisi to discuss the latest political developments, presidential assistant Ayman Ali said. This was the second such meeting in as many days to defuse the tensions that arose after anti-government protesters took to the streets demanding Morsi's ouster and the army issued a terse statement.

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Image: A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stands on top of an electric tram column as he waves an Egyptian flag during a protest in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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The powerful army yesterday warned that it will intervene if people's demands were not met within 48 hours after millions took to the streets asking President Morsi to quit.

Morsi is first freely elected president of Egypt. He assumed charge a year ago after Egyptians overthrew Mubarak, an authoritarian and military-backed leader.

"If the demands of the people are not met in this period... (the armed forces) will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation," said the army statement, which was read out on television.

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Image: Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi walk under a banner during a protest in front of the El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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However, the presidency said that the army declaration had not been cleared by it. It also denounced any declaration that would "deepen division" and "threaten the social peace".

Morsi was consulting "with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will", the presidency said.

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Image: Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans and set off fireworks during a protest in front of El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

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The army, however, in a statement said its motive was to find a speedy solution to the situation.

The statement, which was posted by the army on its Facebook page, said: "the creed of the Egyptian Armed Forces does not allow it to perform a coup d'etat and was issued to force politicians to find a speedy solution for the deadlock."

"The Armed Forces is neither the ruler nor part of the political scene and will not abandon its designated role." 

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Image: A vendor sells flags and anti-Mursi signs during protest demanding that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo
Photographs: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

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