Egypt on edge

2013-07-02 10:22
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Violence continues in Egypt

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators gathered at the presidential palace to protest against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. See the latest pictures.

Cairo - Egypt was on edge on Tuesday following a "last-chance" ultimatum the military issued to Mohammed Morsi, giving the president and the opposition 48 hours to resolve the crisis in the country or have the army step in with its own plan.

Protesters seeking the ouster of the Islamist president remained camped out at Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, gearing up for a third day of anti-Morsi rallies.

Across town, Morsi's Islamist backers have hunkered down at their own rally site, vowing to resist what they depict as a threat of a coup against a legitimately elected president.

The military's ultimatum, read on Monday on state TV, put enormous pressure on Morsi to step down and sent giant crowds opposing the president in Cairo and other cities into delirious celebrations of singing, dancing and fireworks.

But it also raised worries on both sides that the army could take over outright as it did after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak and raised the risk of a backlash from Morsi's Islamist backers, including his powerful Muslim Brotherhood and hard-liners, some of whom once belonged to armed militant groups.

Pro-Morsi marches numbering in the several thousands began after nightfall Monday in a string of cities around the country, sparking clashes in some places. An alliance of the Brotherhood and Islamists read a statement at a televised conference calling on people to rally to prevent "any attempt to overturn" Morsi's election a year ago.

A line of around 1 500 men with shields, helmets and sticks - assigned with protecting the rally - stamped their feet in military-like lines, singing, "Stomp our feet, raise a fire. Islam's march is coming".

After midnight, Morsi's office issued a statement saying a "modern democratic state" was one of the main achievements of the anti-Mubarak uprising, adding, "With all its force, Egypt will not allow itself to be taken backward".

While not bluntly rejecting the ultimatum, it said Morsi was still reviewing the military statement and that some parts of it "could cause disturbances in the complicated national scene".

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  egypt protests  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.