Cairo: Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in a military coup Wednesday, with security forces forbidding him from leaving the country, arresting a number of top Muslim Brotherhood officials, and raiding media outlets in the midst of broadcasts.
Saad El-Katani, the head of the Muslim Brotherhoods Foreign Justice Party (FJP), and Rashad al-Bayoumi, one of the FJPs deputy leaders, were both detained, security forces told. Arrest warrants were also issued for 300 members of the Brotherhood and security forces were preparing to disperse pro-Morsi demonstrations throughout the country.
A Muslim brotherhood spokesman said Morsi and Essam El-Haddad, a presidential aide, were being held at a residence used by the countrys presidential guards.
“The Egyptian Armed Forces first declared, is still declaring and will always declare that it stands distant from political forces. The Armed Forces, based on its insightfulness, has been called by the Egyptian people for help, not to hold the reins of power, yet to discharge its civil responsibility and answer demands of responsibility,” said General Abdul Fatah Khalil al-Sisi, the head of the EAF, in a statement announcing the militarys decision to end Morsis presidency.
“Suspending the constitution provisionally, the chief justice of the constitutional court will declare the early presidential elections, Interim period until president is elected. Chief Justice will have presidential powers, A technocrat, capable national government will be formed, The committee will offer all its expertise to review the new constitution, the Supreme Constitutional Law will address the draft law and prepare for parliamentary elections,” he went on.
In that connection, Egypts top generals told US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey by phone Thursday that the country would soon be back under civilian control.
National security adviser Essam El-Haddad said that "no military coup can succeed in the face of sizeable popular force without considerable bloodshed." He admitted that the army and police may use violence to clear the streets of Cairo.
At least five staff members of Al Jazeeras Egyptian broadcast team were detained and prevented from broadcasting images of a pro-Morsi rally near Cairo University. Shadi Hamid, an Egypt analyst with the Brookings Institution, said that staff of Brotherhood-associated Misr 25 were arrested as well.
Egyptian troops, including commandos, were deployed to key sites and intersections throughout Egypt, including Suez and the highway to Alexandria. Hundreds of soldiers took part in a military parade near the presidential palace, according to Reuters.
US President Barack Obama, while being careful to avoid saying “military coup” in his address, called on security forces to “avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters.”
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