Army holds off from ending Cairo protest for now

July 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM
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CAIRO, July 13 (UPI) -- The Egyptian military told demonstrators in Cairo there were no plans to break up a large sit-in demonstration in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

As tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated Friday, military personnel dropped leaflets from helicopters over the Rebaa Al-Adawiya protest site Friday assuring protesters they could remain or go home without risk of arrest or any other confrontation.

"If you wish to leave the sit-in then go ahead, we assure you that if you leave and go home you will not be tracked down ... To those of you who want to stay, you are safe," the leaflets said.

Military authorities asked protesters to remain peaceful and stay away from government buildings.

Ahram Online said Saturday the message was aimed at Islamists.

It said Morsi's removal from office had nothing to do with Muslims or their role in politics.

"No one can doubt your patriotism, belonging and loyalty to this country," it said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi had been a leader, told Ahram Online it planned to stay put until their demands were met, which include Morsi's return to office and changes to the Constitution created last year.

Morsi's whereabouts are not known. The U.S. State Department said Friday Washington agreed with a request by Germany that Egyptian authorities release Morsi, who was detained 10 days ago.

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