Egypt’s military issues 48-hour ultimatum

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s military is giving the country’s president and his opponents two days to reach an agreement. It’s warning that it will intervene unless Islamist president Mohammed Morsi meets what it calls “the people’s demands.”

For a second day, hundreds of thousands of protesters have gathered in Cairo and elsewhere, calling on Morsi to step down. So far, Morsi has vowed to remain in his position.

In Cairo, many in the crowd in Tahrir Square broke into cheers on hearing the army’s announcement, which was read on state TV. The statement seemed to fuel the flow of crowds into city squares around the country.

In one Nile Delta city, protesters chanted, “The people want to topple the regime.”

The army statement didn’t define the “people’s demands” that must be met. But it strongly suggested that yesterday’s gigantic anti-Morsi rallies expressed the desire of Egyptians. And that raised the likelihood that the military will insist on Morsi’s departure.

But any move against Morsi would risk a backlash from his Islamist supporters.

Already, the military’s presence in Cairo has increased at sensitive spots in the past two days.

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250-a-14-(Shadi Ghazali Harb (SHAH’-dee ghah-ZAH’-lee hahrb), Egyptian opposition leader, in AP interview)-”that is nonsense”-Egyptian opposition leader Shadi Ghazali Harb says there’s only one way out of the unrest in Egypt. (1 Jul 2013)

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253-r-27-(Sound of Egyptian military official issuing an ultimatum, to Egyptian president President Mohammed Morsi and his opponents)–Sound of Egyptian military issuing a 48-hour ultimatum to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his opponents to reach an agreement to “meet the people’s demands” or it will intervene. COURTESY: Egypt TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (1 Jul 2013)

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251-a-15-(Shadi Ghazali Harb (SHAH’-dee ghah-ZAH’-lee hahrb), Egyptian opposition leader, in AP interview)-”to people’s demands”-Egyptian opposition leader Shadi Ghazali Harb says President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group has to make one of two available choices. (1 Jul 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: Egypt flag waving, graphic element on gray (1 Jul 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: Egyptian protesters rally outside the presidential palace during anti-government demonstrations, Cairo, Egypt, on texture, partial graphic (30 Jun 2013)

APPHOTO NM164: A protester holds a shoe with the photo of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on it during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt’s military on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Islamist president and his opponents to reach an agreement to “meet the people’s demands” or it will intervene to put forward a political road map for the country and ensure it is carried out. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (1 Jul 2013)

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APPHOTO NM168: An Egyptian boy waves a national flag during a protest against President Mohammed Morsi outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt’s military on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Islamist president and his opponents to reach an agreement to “meet the people’s demands” or it will intervene to put forward a political road map for the country and ensure it is carried out. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) (1 Jul 2013)

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