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Egyptian president rejects military ultimatum

Posted by Dana Hatic  July 2, 2013 08:32 AM

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Islamist president Mohammed Morsi rebuffed the Egyptian military's July 1 ultimatum giving Morsi 48 hours to respond to mass protests in the country calling for his ouster.

Morsi made a statement rejecting the ultimatum, saying he would continue on his own path. On July 1, six of Morsi's cabinet members quit and two of his spokesmen resigned.

Protests began over the weekend with hundreds of thousands of people flooding the streets of Cairo and other cities across Egypt. The crowd in Cairo marched on the presidential palace and threw stones and firebombs at the main headquarters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. At one point, Brotherhood supporters inside the gates of the palace opened fire on the protesters, killing five. A 21-year-old American student, Andrew Pochter, was killed in clashes on June 29.

The White House issued a statement confirming that President Barack Obama called Morsi to encourage him to compromise with protesters and to voice his concerns over potential violence.

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development announced via Twitter the closure of its embassy in Cairo.

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