The Egyptian Army's Deadline Nears as Anti-Morsi Protests Continue

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The death toll climbed in Egypt tonight as the army's deadline for President Morsi approached. And despite those deaths, both institutional sides of the unrest — Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood-led government and the country's armed forces — vowed to put their lives on the line in order to win. 

Egypt's military, the SCAF, has all but promised a military coup if Morsi doesn't agree to share power by 10 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday (5 p.m. in Cairo). So Morsi made a late-night television appearance to reiterate that he's not going anywhere: "If the price for legitimacy is my blood, then I am prepared to sacrifice my blood to legitimacy and my homeland," he said, repeating his belief that the massive protests sweeping the entire country are just the remnants of the old regime. 

The SCAF released their own statement, keeping the stakes high for tomorrow. Armed forces General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said this, via Reuters"We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool." The Facebook post from the SCAF was dramatically titled "The Final Hours."

Meanwhile, at least 23 people have died in clashes related to the protests, by the AP's count. Most of the fatalities were from an incident at Cairo University involving pro-Morsi supporters and security forces. 

Millions of anti-Morsi protesters took to the streets last Sunday, the one-year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration as president, to demand his resignation. Those demonstrations have continued since then. Despite Mursi's defiance of the protesters demands, it's hard to see how his government could survive the current uprising intact. 

Photo: Reuters

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.