A military coup is underway in Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi’s national security advisor said. His sentiment has been echoed by Egyptians around the country who have watched armored vehicles moving in.
“For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup,” Essam al-Haddad, an adviser to Morsi, said.
According to reports, President Morsi is missing. No one knows his whereabouts. Meanwhile the president’s supporters remain defiant although they fear the unknown. There are unconfirmed reports that security forces have placed an international travel ban on Morsi and other leading Muslim Brotherhood members.
According to reports, armored vehicles have been deployed only in areas where pro-Morsi supporters are gathered in the Cairo suburb of Nasser city. They are also deployed around sensitive areas including the presidential palace, the state run TV and on the bridge over the Nile River.
There have been massive unrests in the country in the past few days. An army deadline given to Morsi to resolve the country’s political crisis expired Wednesday. President Morsi had initially rejected the army ultimatum to reach a deal with anti-government protesters, after four days of mass unrest.
However, minutes before the deadline, Morsi called for national reconciliation,” but said he would not step down.
Meanwhile, a state media statement said that a political road map is being prepared at a meeting attended by representatives of wide base support. These representatives include Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, grand imam of Al-Azhar mosque, and Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority.
Sources said that members of a rebel youth group inciting the anti-Morsi protests and members of the hardline Muslim fundamentalist al-Nour Party also are attending the meeting. Egypt’s state media said this road map would be announced shortly. According to reports, this political map would include an interim rule followed by fresh elections, in effect wresting power away from Morsi.
Reports say anti-Morsi protesters in Port Said have been overflowing Martyrs Square invoking slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood such as: “Grind on, grind on, Sisi. Morsi was never my president.”
Sources say at least 18 people have been killed and 200 injured in clashes in Egypt.
On Tuesday night, 16 people were killed in Cairo when a rally of Morsi supporters came under attack by unidentified gunmen.
By Perviz Walji