Egypt’s army warns of action if provoked
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
An Egyptian anti-military protester confronts an army officer following the deployment of a military unit in the Abbassiya district of Cairo where clashes took place. AFP photoEgypt’s ruling military has warned against any attempt to approach to defense ministry, following a call for a demonstration today to protest against deadly clashes a day earlier.
“The responsibility, the duty, the law and the right to self-defense, as well as the honor of the military obligates members of the armed forces to defend the defense ministry and its military installations because they are a symbol of military honor and the stature of the nation,” General Mokhtar al-Mulla, a member of the ruling military council, said yesterday.
“If anyone approaches its (installations), they should hold themselves responsible,” he told reporters. Egypt’s ruling generals also promised again that they would hand power to a civilian administration within the next two months, a day after deadly clashes stoked by political tensions brought fresh accusations that the military was trying to create chaos so it could cling to power.
‘No desire of power’
“We say it frankly and clearly. The armed forces and their supreme council are committed to the handover of power on June 30,” Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Asar told a news conference. “We don’t desire power. The Supreme Council (of the Armed Forces) is not a substitute for legitimacy in Egypt.”
General also vowed that this month’s presidential election will be fair. “We are committed to fair elections 100 percent. We don’t have any candidates. All the candidates are respectable Egyptians.” He said that the electoral commission “sent a letter to the foreign ministry requesting that it invites 45 foreign observers to monitor the presidential election.”