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Report: Egyptian army getting ready to take over

Al-Ahram newspaper says military placed Muslim Brotherhood officials under house arrest, 'guarding' movement's funds. Brotherhood official: Freedom more valuable than life

Roi Kais, Reuters
Published: 07.03.13, 11:40 / Israel News

Egypt's flagship state newspaper Al-Ahram reported Wednesday that the Egyptian army is taking a number of steps that signal it is getting ready to take the reigns when a deadline set by the army for resolving the country's political crisis expires.

 

It was later reported that the general command of the Egyptian armed forces is holding a crisis meeting.

 

According to the report, the army has placed heavy security on national institutions and weapons depots, placed a number of Muslim Brotherhood officials under house arrest and has the movement's funds "under inspection."

 

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"The army has started to hermetically secure sites across Egypt in coordination with security forces and all active elements within the Muslim Brotherhood are under control," the paper said. Brotherhood officials denied the report.

 

Al-Ahram said it expected President Mohamed Morsi would either step down or be removed from office when the deadline expires.

 

But a military source denied reports in several local newspapers on details of the road map, describing them as "nothing but predictions". The source expected the next step would be to call political, social and economic figures to talks on the road map.

 

Al-Ahram said an army road map for the future would set up a three-member presidential council to be chaired by the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

 

"Al-Ahram learnt that with the end of the 48-hour period set by the armed forces ... it is expected in the hours that follow it, one of two things: either Mursi announces his resignation himself, or the declaration of his removal through the road map for the future set out by the armed forces," it said.

 

Al-Ahram said the road map would set up a neutral transitional government to be headed by a military leader. The transitional period would last nine to 12 months in which a new constitution would be drafted to set out a path to presidential elections.

 

A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood's political party warned on that the Egyptian people would not stay calm in the face of a "military rebellion" and said freedom was more valuable than life.

 

Essam el-Erian, deputy leader of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, said anyone wagering that the people would stay calm in the face of military revolt would lose their bet.

 

 

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