MORSI REPORTEDLY HELD HOURS AFTER BEING OUSTED AS EGYPT’S PRESIDENT

Fox News on July 4, 2013, reported that ousted President Mohammed Morsi was reportedly being held at an undisclosed location, hours after the military toppled him and suspended the constitution. Excerpts below:

Ahmed Aref, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood party, told Reuters both Morsi and an aide were being held but he didn’t know their location. A security official said they were at a military intelligence facility, Reuters said.

In announcing Morsi’s ouster earlier in the day, Egypt’s top military commander said he had been replaced by the chief justice of the constitutional court as interim head of state.

In addition, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the country’s constitution has been temporarily suspended and new elections would be held.

At least 14 people were killed in clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents following the announcement, Reuters said, citing the state news agency MENA.

…a security official in Cairo said the head of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood political party and the organization’s deputy chief had been arrested, reportedly in connection with an escape from prison in 2011.

The state-run newspaper Al-Ahram said arrest warrants were being issued for 300 members of the Brotherhood, Reuters reported.

Millions of anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir Square and around the country erupted in cheers at the news of Morsi’s ouster, setting off fireworks and shouting “God is great” and “Long live Egypt.”

A U.S. official said nonessential diplomats and embassy families had been ordered to leave Egypt amid the unrest. The State Department issued a warning urging U.S. citizens in the country to leave.

In appointing Adli Mansour the new interim leader, el-Sissi also said a government of technocrats would be formed with “full powers” to run the country. He did not specify how long the transition period would last or when new elections might be held.

Top military officials and opposition leaders met Wednesday and agreed on a political roadmap for the country’s future, el-Sissi said.

El-Sissi also warned said the military would deal “decisively” with any violence sparked by the announcements.

Before el-Sissi’s address, Egyptian troops, including commandos in full combat gear, were deployed across much of Cairo, including at key facilities, on bridges over the Nile River and at major intersections.

A travel ban was put on Morsi and the head of his Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, as well as Badie’s deputy Khairat el-Shater, officials told the Associated Press.

Millions were in the main squares of major cities nationwide, demanding Morsi’s removal, in the fourth day of the biggest anti-government rallies the country has seen, surpassing even those in the uprising that ousted against his autocratic predecessor Hosni Mubarak. Critics say Morsi set the nation on a path toward Islamic rule.

“There is no substitute for legitimacy,” said Morsi, at times angrily raising his voice, thrusting his fist in the air and pounding the podium. He warned that electoral and constitutional legitimacy “is the only guarantee against violence.”

On July 23, clashes in Cairo and elsewhere in the country left at least 23 people dead, most in a single incident near the main Cairo University campus.

Pentagon Spokesman George Little said there has been no change in terms of the U.S. military pre-positioning assets in and around Egypt in the event they are called upon to assist the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

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