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Egypt's army vows to die for people

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-03 15:05

CAIRO - Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Wednesday that the army would die in defense of the people against any terrorist, extremist or the ignorant.

"It is more honorable for us to die than letting the Egyptian people be intimidated or threatened," the administrator of the military official Facebook page quoted Sisi as saying.

The post, entitled "The Last Hours," came a few hours after embattled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi delivered an overnight speech reiterating that he would stick to his post as president and pay his life as "price for legitimacy."

Morsi is now facing a wave of protests nationwide that request him to step down and ask for an early presidential election. Meanwhile, throngs of Morsi's supporters, mostly Islamists, protest in Cairo and across the country "in defense of legitimacy."

On Monday, the Egyptian army gave all rival parties a 48-hour deadline to resolve the ongoing political conflict, or it would impose a road-map for the future of the chaos-stricken country.

The statement was hailed by Morsi's opponents but considered by his proponents as "coup against legitimacy."

As the countdown for the army's ultimatum is ticking, Morsi's overnight speech implied a challenge to the military's warning.

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