Egypt: Morsi defiant, 16 dead at Cairo University

'The price of legitimacy is my life', says president

03 July, 10:14

    ++ EGITTO: FORZE ARMATE, PRONTE A MORIRE PER POPOLO ++ ++ EGITTO: FORZE ARMATE, PRONTE A MORIRE PER POPOLO ++

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO - As the hour approached on Wednesday that will trigger a military takeover prompted by mass anti-government demonstrations, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi called on the army to back off, saying he will not bow to external or internal interference. In a defiant televised address to the nation, Morsi defended the last elections, which he said were ''free and representative of the popular will''. ''I am the first democratically elected Egyptian leader. The price of preserving legitimacy is my life'', said Morsi, increasingly isolated following the defections of several ministers and aides. ''Don't let them steal your revolution''.

    Speaking from the presidential palace, the embattled Islamist president admitted to making ''some mistakes'', called on the army to ''resume its normal functions'', and exhorted Egyptians to refrain from violence.

    While masses of protesters on Cairo's Tahrir Square celebrated the army's intervention, Morsi supporters clashed with security forces at Cairo University, where 16 people died and hundreds were injured, some critically.

    A senior Brotherhood leader called for martyrdom in defense of Morsi while Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el Haddad tweeted: ''The Egyptian people won't allow anyone to trample on their democratic choices. We will stand firm before any threat to legitimacy''. Morsi supporters plan to turn out in greater numbers ahead of the army's deadline, which expires on Wednesday 5pm local time. (ANSAmed).

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