Egypt army chief vows to stand firm 'in face of violence'

Egypt army chief vows to stand firm 'in face of violence'

CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Egypt army chief vows to stand firm in face of violence

Egypt's Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during a news conference in Cairo on the release of seven members of the Egyptian security forces kidnapped by Islamist militants in Sinai. REUTERS photo

Egypt's army chief vowed Aug. 18 to stand firm in the face of violence, in his first remarks since the last deadly crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

"Whoever imagines violence will make the state and Egyptians kneel must reconsider; we will never be silent in the face of the destruction of the country," Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told a meeting of top military and police commanders.

Al-Sisi, the general behind the popularly backed military coup that toppled Morsi on July 3, said security forces would confront further violence from protesters.

79 people died in violence Saturday 

His statements comes as Seventy-nine people died across Egypt on Aug. 17 during political violence and 549 were wounded, the state news agency MENA said on Aug. 18, quoting government figures.

The latest tally means at least 830 people have died in Egypt since Aug. 14 in clashes pitting pro-Morsi protesters against the security forces. 

Meanwhile, the alliance opposed to the Egyptian military's takeover called off rallies that they planned to stage in Cairo on Aug.18, citing concerns about security.

"Several marches in Cairo have been cancelled for security reasons," said Yasmine Adel, a spokeswoman with the Anti-Coup Coalition.

She said some other marches were taking place, however, but it was not immediately possible to confirm.

In central Cairo's Dokki neighbourhood, residents took over a mosque Morsi's supporters had planned to use as a starting point for a march and put up a poster of a slain policeman, an AFP correspondent said. Vigilantes stopped cars with bearded people and took them out, the correspondent said.