Tension prevails in Egypt ahead of Mursi deadline
Zee Media Bureau
Cairo: Ahead of the deadline demanding the Egypt president to step down passes, the supporters and the opponents of Mohammed Mursi gathered on the streets in Cairo.
The opposition has issued an ultimatum to Mursi on Monday after which the military warned that it will intervene if no agreement is reached between the two.
Mursi rejected the 48-hour deadline by the Army and vowed to continue with his national reconciliation plan to resolve the crisis.
The president met the head of the armed forces for the second consecutive day but the details of the talks were not given which also included Prime Minister Hisham Kandil.
As the protest rages on, the UN high commissioner for human rights urged Mursi to engage in a serious national dialogue to end the political crisis.
"The civil democratic Egyptian state is one of the most important achievements of the January 25 revolution. Egypt will absolutely not permit any step backward whatever the circumstances," said a statement issued by Mursi’s office.
According to the President’s office, Mursi was consulting "with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will".
Also, a group of five men raped a Dutch journalist in Cairo`s central Tahrir Square during the protest. The journalist is believed to have undergone surgery for horrific injuries sustained in the attack.
With the deadline approaching, thousands of opposition protesters gather in Tahrir Square waving flags and chanting slogans demanding the ouster of Mursi.
The Tamarod (Rebel) also have claimed that they signed petition by 22 million people who criticise Mursi of failing to resolve economic and security problems.
The nationwide protest comes a year after the historic democratic transition of power.
Army troops at checkpoints on roads leading to the pro-Mursi rally checked cars for weapons, after repeated reports some Islamists were arming themselves.
The Army, however, in a new statement today said its motive was to find a speedy solution to the situation.
The military issued a statement on its Facebook page denying it intended a coup.