Egypt army issues violence ultimatum
26 July 2013, 12:02
Cairo - Egypt's military has set a 48-hour deadline after
which it will deal decisively with "violence and terrorism", said a
Thursday statement on a military-linked website, on the eve of pro-army
The statement said military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
issued the deadline in a Wednesday speech for all Egyptians "to return to
the national fold and prepare for the future".
Sisi had called for mass rallies on Friday to give him a
"mandate" to fight what he called "terrorism and violence".
Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi have
been accused of using violence to restore the leader overthrown on 3 July,
although most of their protests are peaceful.
The statement appeared on an unofficial Facebook account
with ties to the top council of military generals.
At the expiry of the deadline late on Friday, "the
strategy for dealing with violence and terrorism will change...appropriately to
deal guarantee security and stability", it said.
A senior army official told AFP that the statement did not
reflect the military's point of view, although it appeared on a "page with
links to the armed forces".
"The 48-hour ultimatum is a political invitation,"
the officer said. "It doesn't mean that after 48 hours we are going to
Sisi's call on Wednesday, in a televised speech, sparked
outrage among Islamists and concern in Washington.