Army issues 48-hour deadline for Egypt consensus

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musCAIRO, July 1;The Army on Monday gave Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy and the opposition a 48-hour ultimatum to reach consensus and meet the people’s demands or it would announce measures to end the stalemate.

“The armed forces reiterates its call to meet the demands of the people and gives everyone 48 hours as a last chance to bear the burden of such historical circumstances that the country is going through,” Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said.

“If the people’s demands are not met within the specified deadline, the armed forces — based on its national and historical responsibility — will announce a plan for the future and a series of measures that it will supervise with the participation of all factions,” he said.

Muslim Brotherhood’s HQ stormed

Earlier in the day, anti-government protesters in Egypt stormed the Cairo headquarters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, and the opposition called for civil disobedience if President Mohammed Morsy does not step down by Tuesday.

The Health Ministry said that 16 people have been killed and more than 780 injured nationwide since the clashes started on Sunday.

Medics said at least 12 people were killed in the fighting that started on Sunday around the Muslim Brotherhood’s biggest offices, in the suburban Cairo area of al-Moqattam.

Protesters torched the first floor of the building on Sunday.

Activists said Muslim Brotherhood members inside the building responded with live fire and shotgun rounds.

The clashes began as hundreds of thousands took to the streets Sunday across the country, as the opposition stepped up pressure on Mr. Morsy to step down.

Several Muslim Brotherhood offices have been torched in different province since Wednesday as tensions have risen between Mr. Morsy’s supporters and opponents in the lead-up to Sunday’s rallies, which marked his first anniversary in office.

Members of the opposition Tamarod campaign, which called for Sunday’s protests, said they will continue their sit-in in various squares across the country.

They gave Mr. Morsy an ultimatum — to resign by Tuesday — and called for more civil disobedience if he stays.

Tamarod, a grassroots campaign that said it collected more than 22 million signatures of those who want to oust Mr. Morsy, called on the army, police and judiciary to stand with the protesters.

“It is no longer possible to accept any halfway measures,” the group said, rejecting dialogue with the president.

The opposition says Mr. Morsy, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, is concerned only with tightening his Muslim Brotherhood group’s grip on power and has failed to address the country’s economic and social problems.

Mr. Morsy’s allies charge the opposition of seeking to topple him to seize power. His supporters have vowed he will complete his four-year term.

Mr. Morsy backers continued camping around a mosque in eastern Cairo.

On Sunday, five people were killed in clashes between Mr. Morsy’s opponents and supporters in the southern Egyptian cities of Assiut and Beni Sueif.

Five Egyptian ministers resign

Five Egyptian ministers have resigned after mass protests to demand the resignation of Mr. Morsy, sources in the Cabinet said on Monday.

Prime Minister Hesham Qandil is currently holding a meeting with the Ministers of tourism, environment, communications, public utilities and parliamentary affairs to discuss their decision.

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