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Four Days that Shook Egypt

by AFP
Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP

Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP

As the Egyptian crisis evolves, here’s a recap of the last few days.

Recent, key developments in Egypt since millions took to the streets on Sunday to demand the resignation of President Mohamed Morsi, who was elected a year ago:

Sunday, June 30:

  • Chanting “Leave!” and “the people want the ouster of the regime,” crowds demonstrate across Egypt in response to a call from the grassroots movement Tamarod (or Rebellion in Arabic).
  • In Cairo, protesters gather around the presidential palace and in Tahrir Square, epicenter of Egypt’s 2011 revolution.
  • Huge demonstrations also take place in Alexandria, Menouf and Mahallah in the Nile Delta, and in the canal cities of Suez and Port Said.
  • The Army speaks of “several million” protesters; a military source says: “It is the biggest protest in Egypt’s history.”
  • Morsi supporters rally in the Cairo district of Nasr City. The Army puts their numbers at 25,000.
  • At least 16 people are killed nationwide, eight during clashes between government supporters and opposition forces outside the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the health ministry says.
  • Morsi calls for dialogue, which Tamarod rejects, saying there is no alternative to his resignation.
  • Opposition leader Hamdeen Sabbahi presses the Army to support opposition forces if Morsi does not step down.

Monday, July 1:

  • Protesters set fire to the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo then loot it.
  • Tamarod gives Morsi until 1500 GMT on Tuesday July 2 to quit or face an open-ended campaign of civil disobedience.
  • The tourism, environment, communications, and judicial and parliamentary affairs ministers resign.
  • The Army gives Morsi 48 hours to meet the “people’s demands” or face an imposed solution.
  • In Tahrir Square, anti-Morsi protesters erupt in joy on hearing the Army’s statement.
  • Morsi’s office rebuffs the Army’s ultimatum, denouncing any declaration that would “deepen division” and “threaten the social peace.”

Tuesday, July 2:

  • Morsi holds talks all day with Army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military says.
  • The National Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition, says it would not support a “military coup” and trusts the Army statement does not mean it would assume a political role.
  • The spokesmen for the presidency and the cabinet quit.
  • Opposition groups choose leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei to represent them in the negotiations called for by the Army.
  • Opponents of Morsi pack into Tahrir Square, while his backers join a sit-in in the Nasr City neighborhood, while hundreds gather near Cairo University.
  • Clashes between the rival sides leave seven people dead, medics say.
  • Gunmen kill 16 people and wound 200 others at a Cairo rally supporting Morsi, health ministry officials say the next day.

Wednesday, July 3:

  • Morsi refuses to quit, insists on his constitutional legitimacy, and “calls on the armed forces to withdraw their warning and rejects any dictates, domestic or foreign.”
  • Senior military commanders hold emergency talks, a source close to the army says.
  • State television is taken over by the Army.

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