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Egypt: Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calls for nationwide protests

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged Egyptians to take to the streets on Friday, in what the Muslim Brotherhood called an 'announcement of civil war.'

Mohamed Morsi march deathsEnlarge
Supporters of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi walk past his portrait in Cairo on July 23, 2013 during a sit in outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

The head of Egypt's armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, called for nationwide protests against "terrorism," amid deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

In a televised speech Wednesday, Sisi urged Egyptians to demonstrate on Friday and "give me, the army and police, a mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism," according to the BBC's translation.

He insisted that his call was not an incitement to further unrest and pledged to support transition measures, including a roadmap that schedules constitutional reform and fresh elections within six months.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, said Sisi's statement amounted to "an announcement of civil war," adding that it wouldn't stop the Islamist movement's supporters continuing to rally.

Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, was due to hold talks on "national reconciliation" later Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration said it would delay the planned sale of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in light of recent events. The Pentagon's press secretary George Little said President Barack Obama made the decision, which only applies to the F-16s.

The bigger question of whether the US will continue its $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt is still not settled.

The announcements came as more lives were claimed in the violence, which erupted in the aftermath of the military deposing Morsi on July 3.

A bomb explosion near a police station north of Cairo on Wednesday killed one person. 

The bombing occurred in Mansoura, the capital of Dakhalia province. Health Ministry and security sources told Reuters that unknown assailants threw a bomb from a passing car. A Health Ministry statement said 12 people were wounded in the blast.

In a separate incident, unknown gunmen killed at least two people after shooting at Morsi supporters in the capital early on Wednesday.

The attack on the pro-Morsi crowd happened during a rally in the Heliopolis area north of Cairo. Numerous people were wounded.

The Islamist former president continues to be held, incommunicado and without charge, by the Egyptian military.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled Morsi to power in 2012, has accused the army of orchestrating a coup when it deposed him earlier this month.

About 100 people have died in ensuing violence, with Morsi's supporters vowing to stay in the streets until he is reinstated.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130724/egypt-cairo-mohamed-morsi-bombs-death-video