Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Egypt army boss calls for support

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi sleep on the street where protesters have set up a camp near Cairo University (AP)

Egypt's military chief has called for mass demonstrations allowing people to voice their support for the army and police to put an end to "violence" and "terrorism."

Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi urged Egyptians to take to the streets on Friday, saying a massive turnout would give him a "mandate" and an "order" to do what is "necessary" to combat the bloodshed that has killed dozens since the military removed president Mohammed Morsi three weeks ago.

"On Friday, every honorable and honest Egyptian must come out. Come out and remind the whole world that you have a will and resolve of your own," Gen. el-Sissi said. "Please, shoulder your responsibility with me, your army and the police and show your size and steadfastness in the face of what is going on."

Since Mr Morsi's removal, there has been a sharp escalation in attacks blamed on Islamic militants against security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. There have also been deadly clashes between opponents and supporters of Mr Morsi that have left dozens dead and fuelled concerns that the violence could spiral out of control.

Gen. El-Sissi's request for a mandate to move come as calls on the army and the police are mounting to swiftly act to save the country from plunging into civil war.

The coup that ousted Mr Morsi followed four days of mass protests by millions of Egyptians demanding that he step down.

His supporters insist he must be reinstated, branding his overthrow as a coup against democracy. The former president was Egypt's first freely elected president, but his opponents say he concentrated too much power in his own hands and his Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

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