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Egyptian military present in state TV building ahead of statement

Published: Updated:

Employees at Egyptian state TV said on Wednesday that army officers were present in the broadcaster’s newsroom shortly ahead of the 48-hour deadline set by the military.

The army officers were monitoring content but not intervening, staffers said. There was also a heavy increase in military presence inside the building, according to Associated Press.

A spokesperson from the Egyptian armed forces said on Wednesday the military will issue a statement once a crisis meeting with opposition and religious leaders is over.

Army sources had previously said the army would release a statement after a deadline given to President Mohammed Mursi and Egyptian politicians expires at approximately 5 p.m. (1500 GMT).

The 48-hour ultimatum urged Mursi to “meet the demands of the people” following mass protests calling for his resignation.

The deadline gives Mursi and the opposition time to agree on a resolution of the political standoff. The army said if they failed to do so, it would impose its own “road map.”

Armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held talks with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, Coptic Christian Patriarch Tawadros II and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning.

In a statement that was headlined “The Final Hours,” Egypt’s high command said on Wednesday the army was ready to sacrifice blood to defend the Egyptian people against “terrorists or fools” as the death toll mounted in protester clashes.

The statement on the official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said: “We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.”

(With Associated Press)

For the latest developments on the unrest in Egypt, click here.