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Activist Group Demands Mursi Arrest As Military Takeover Looms

posted 3 Jul 2013, 08:50 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 3 Jul 2013, 08:51 ]

As an army imposed deadline for a political deal looms, the activist group that sparked anti-Mursi protests calls on the army to arrest the president for inciting civil war.

CAIROEGYPT (JULY 3, 2013)(REUTERS) -  As Egypt waits for a 48 hour deadline set by the military for political dialogue to expire with no mediated solution in sight, an activist group that sparked the huge anti-Mursi protests has called on the military to arrest the president on charges of inciting civil war.

The Tamarud, or Rebel! movement, claimed to have collected 22 million signatures to call for Mursito step down, lending momentum to large scale demonstrations that have led the army to issue their ultimatum. On Wednesday (July 3) they called on protesters to congregate outside the the Egyptian army's Republican Guard headquarters to urge the soldiers to arrest Mursi.

"We are telling the great Egyptian people they must go today to all major squares and streets. Today, we will go back to massing at Etehadeya palace, Qoba palace, Abdeen palace, and Tahrir Square. Today we will also start to go in large numbers to the Republican Guard headquarters. All Egyptian people must congregate there today to tell the Republican Guard that they must arrestMursi on the charge of inciting civil war," said Mahmoud Badr, the group's spokesman.

Speaking at a news conference in Cairo, he said that he was confident that Mursi would soon be toppled.

"The hour of victory has neared. There are only a few hours left in the deadline set by the armed forces for this illegitimate president to leave the presidential palace. I believe it is our duty to go out and express our will so we can protect it," Badr said.

Supporters of the Egyptian president have staged large demonstrations to try and prevent what they say is an attempt by the military and members of the ousted Mubarak regime to subvert Egypt's democratic transition.

Mursi made a defiant speech on Tuesday (July 2) in which he offered concessions but said he would sacrifice his life to protect the legitimacy of his office. The military, meanwhile, issued a statement saying it was willing to die to protect the country from "terrorists and fools."

With only hours left in the military's deadline, security sources said that two Egyptian armyarmoured vehicles took up position outside state broadcasting headquarters on the Nile River bank and most staff were evacuated from the building.

According to state news agency MENA, civil servants were occupying the cabinet office and would not let Mursi-appointed prime minister Hisham Kandil enter the building.