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Morsi sends SCAF heads to retirement

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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Egyptian Minister of Defense Mohamed Hussein Tantawi stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before reviewing the troops at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, May 5, 2009. (UPI Photo/Jerry Morrison/DOD)
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Egyptian Minister of Defense Mohamed Hussein Tantawi stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before reviewing the troops at the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, May 5, 2009. (UPI Photo/Jerry Morrison/DOD) | License Photo

CAIRO, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered the retirement of Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and Chief of Staff Sami Anan.

Tantawi and Anan, however, are appointed advisers to the president and the BBC said it is unclear whether Morsi has the power to remove the head of the armed forces, or whether Tantawi will accept the order.

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Yasser Ali, a spokesman for the president, said SCAF member Mohamed al-Assar was appointed deputy defense minister and head of naval forces Mohab Mamish, also a SCAF member, was appointed head of the Suez Canal Authority, the Egypt Independent reported.

Ali gave no further explanation of the forced retirements,

The move came just over a month after Morsi attempted to bring back the parliament that was ordered dissolved in late June, CNN said.

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