The leader of Egypt’s military coup stands accused of sparking "civil war” after calling for a mass demonstration to counter the unrest sparked by this month’s deposing of President Mohammed Morsi.
General Abdulfattah al-Sisi, who removed Mr Morsi from power in a coup backed by the president’s secular and liberal opponents, urgedEgyptians to turn out on Friday to give him a “mandate” to quell violence at recent anti-government protests.
“On Friday, every honourable and honest Egyptian must come out,” he said during a speech at a graduation ceremony for military cadets in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria on Wednesday. “Please, shoulder your responsibility with me, your army and the police, and show your size and steadfastness in the face of what is going on.”
In an indication of America’s equivocal stance on the matter, Washington, which has been reluctant to label the unrest a coup, said that the sale of four F-16 jets to Egypt had been delayed, but that its annual military exercise with Egypt was still on.
George Little, a Pentagon press secretary, said the delay was deemed “prudent” in light of the “current situation”, but said there had been no decision made on whether to suspend the $1.3 billion (£840 million) in annual military aid to the country.
More than 100 people have been killed in the three weeks since Mr Morsi was toppled, as supporters of the former president have clashed with both supporters of the coup and the security forces.
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