Military forces took over the state-run television center in Cairo on Wednesday afternoon, as the deadline for the Egyptian army’s ultimatum for embattled President Mohammed Morsi to step down approaches.
Over the last several days, Egypt has been in the throes of a popular revolution reminiscent of 2011, when strongman Hosni Mubarak was thrown from power. Since Sunday, millions of Egyptians have taken to the streets, demanding the ouster of Morsi and new elections. Morsi supporters have also taken to the streets in support of the Islamist president. At least 39 people have died and hundreds have been injured since the protests began.
On Tuesday, the Egyptian army gave Morsi 48 hours to concede to the protesters’ demands, but the president remained defiant and said he would protect his “constitutional legitimacy” with his life, setting the stage from a dramatic showdown.
The army did not specify when their deadline would expire, but opposition leaders said it was between 4 and 5 p.m. Egypt time (5 or 6 p.m. Israel time).