Egypt's Interim Prez sworn in amid crackdown on Brotherhood

Cairo, July 5: Egypt's ousted Prez Mohammed Morsi was put under detention on Thursday by the army, which launched a massive crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement, arresting its senior leaders, even as a top jurist took over as the interim head of state.

The military rounded up the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, arresting its supreme leader Mohammed Badie in a resort village in Marsa Matrouh, a day after the army deposed the Arab nation's first democratically elected President.

Badie was flown to Cairo on a military helicopter, media reports said quoting officials on Thursday.

The former chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Aakef, and his bodyguards were also arrested in Cairo with four weapons in their possession, according to the state-run MENA news agency.

Arrest warrants have been issued for Badie's deputy, Khairat el-Shater, and other Brotherhead leaders on charges of inciting the killing of peaceful protesters in front of Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo's Moqattam neighbourhood.

Police are seeking another 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

The military on Thursday confirmed that it is holding 61-year-old Morsi, but did not disclose his location.

As an uncertain new political order began to take shape in Egypt following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi, Justice Adly Mahmoud Mansour - head of High Constitutional Court - took the presidential oath of office.

67-year-old Mansour saluted the army, the judiciary and the police in a brief acceptance speech to rapturous applause.

He praised the protesters whose mass demonstrations spurred the military action, calling them a unifying force.

In his remarks, Justice Mansour also paid tribute to the youth of the revolution and all revolutionary forces for taking part in the "glorious day of 30 June."

"I swear by Almighty God that I will uphold the republican system, respect the constitution and the law, look after the interests of the people, protect the independence of the nation and the safety of its land," Mansour said while taking oath telecast live on state TV.

Mansour's appointment came after the military on Wednesday night removed Morsi from power, a little more than a year after the Islamist leader assumed office, following massive protests against his style of functioning.

An alliance of Islamists, including ousted president Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, called for "peaceful protests" on Friday to denounce the military's move.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called for "peaceful protests on Friday in all of Egypt's provinces to denounce the military coup against legitimacy and in support of the legitimacy of President Morsi".

The statement also denounced the "killing, arrests, chaining of media freedom and the closing of TV channels," describing it as tactic of the "oppressive police state."

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said the deposed president was under "house arrest" at the presidential Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo.

He said some members of Morsi's inner circle have also put under house arrest. Earlier security forces had imposed a travel ban on Morsi and other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement on Wednesday announcing their refusal of the removal of President Morsi and called the military's move a "coup d'etat."

"We refuse to engage in any work with the usurped authority," added the statement.

In the run-up to the showdown, the powerful army generals and Morsi both pledged to sacrifice their lives to defend the country.

On Tuesday, the army had given a 48-hour ultimatum to Morsi to resolve the political crisis in the wake of massive protests against him that began on the 30th June anniversary of his first year in office.

About 50 civilians were killed over the past two weeks during clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents demanding early presidential elections.

The head of Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday ousted Morsi just one year after he was elected as the country's first democratically elected president in 2012 after nearly three-decades authoritarian rule of strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian army commander Gen Abdel Fattah Sisi on state television issued a declaration suspending the Constitution and appointing Mansour as interim head of state.

Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups.

The move came after Islamist leader refused to quit following the end of a 48-hour deadline set by the army to resolve the political crisis that arose after millions of Egyptian demanding his resignation took to the streets.
Egypt's iconic Tahrir Square, the hub of the anti-Morsi protesters -- erupted into ecstasy as the military announced his outer.

On Thursday morning, Tahrir Square was calm. The huge crowds that had celebrated Morsi's removal with horns, cheering, fireworks the night before had thinned out.

A statement on Morsi's Facebook page denounced the army move as a "military coup".

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