Egypt yet to choose interim prime minister

July 7, 2013 at 7:34 AM
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CAIRO, July 7 (UPI) -- The nomination of Nobel Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei to be Egypt's next prime minister has been put on hold, an official said.

"There are still consultations on who will be Egypt's prime minister," Ahmed el-Moslimany, the newly appointed media adviser to interim President Adly Mansour told reporters Saturday, hours after the Middle East News Agency, MENA, reported ElBaradei had been selected as the country's interim prime minister.

Moslimany said Mansour was meeting with a number of potential candidates, including ElBaradei, Ahram Online reported.

Demonstrations by opponents and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were planned in different parts of the country Sunday, Ahram Online said.

In an effort to address escalating violence that has claimed the lives of at least 37 people since Friday, Mansour met with army chief and Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim at the presidential palace, Asharq al-Awsat reported.

Israel Radio quoted sources saying the Egyptian army was preparing to conduct a large scale operation in northern Sinai against Jihadist elements operating there. The Egyptian army has destroyed more than 40 tunnels on its border with Gaza to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into the Sinai, the radio report said. The natural gas pipeline that transfers gas to Jordan was blown up Saturday.

Also Saturday, a Coptic priest was shot dead by assailants in the town of el-Arish in northern Sinai, Daily News Egypt reported. The shooting was one of a number of attacks believed to have been carried out by Islamist extremists and followed the fatal shootings of five police officers Friday, Independent Catholic News reported.

Since Morsi's ouster, attacks against Egyptian police and army posts in the Sinai have increased.

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