By Obinna Odenigbo
The head of Egypt’s army has given a TV address, announcing that President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in office. Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the constitution had been suspended and the chief justice of the constitutional court would take on Mr Morsi’s powers.
He said Mr Morsi had “failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people”. Mr Morsi and at least two leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing are being held in detention, Brotherhood officials say.
Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo gave a huge cheer in response to Gen Sisi’s speech. However, US President Barack Obama said he was “deeply concerned” by the latest turn of events and called for a swift return to civilian rule.
The army’s move to depose the president follows four days of mass street demonstrations against Mr Morsi – Egypt’s first freely elected president – and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.
TV stations belonging to Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech and state news agency Mena said managers at the movement’s Misr25 channel had been arrested.
Security forces were also reported to have raided the Cairo offices of al-Jazeera’s Egyptian television channel Mubasher Misr, arresting several workers.
Clashes have erupted in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh, with at least four people killed according to the BBC