Cairo: The Egyptian military removed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi from his post, shortly after an army deadline for the Islamist leader to yield to street protests passed without any agreement. The army has also temporarily suspended the Egyptian Constitution till next elections. Till then, Chief of Egyptian Constitutional Court will be the temporary President, the army announced in a statement.
The head of Egypt's armed forces issued the declaration suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state. Egyptian army chief said Morsi did not achieve the goals of the people.
In a televised broadcast, flanked by military leaders, religious authorities and political figures, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi effectively declared the removal of Morsi.
Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups.
Egypt's state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website that the army told President Mohamed Morsi at 7 PM (1700 GMT) that he was no longer head of state.
The army's decision to suspend the Morsi from his post was hailed by liberals, who have been spearheading protests against the Islamist president. Egypt liberal leader ElBaradei said 2011 revolution has been relaunched,adding that roadmap meets demands for early presidential vote.
Morsi rejected the army takeover. "We reject the military takeover. Measures announced by Armed Forces leadership represent a full coup categorically rejected by all the free men of our nation," said Morsi, who was democratically elected. It was the second time in 2½ years of political upheaval, the powerful army positioned to remove the country's leader.
Soon after the deadline passed, a military helicopter circled over the anti-Morsi crowds in Cairo's central Tahrir Square, which was transformed into a sea of furiously waving Egyptian flags. "Leave, leave," they chanted to Morsi, electrified as they waited to hear of an army move. After nightfall, fireworks went off and green lasers flashed over the crowd.
Millions were in the main squares of major cities nationwide, demanding Morsi's removal, in the fourth day of the biggest anti-government rallies the country has seen, surpassing even those in the uprising that ousted against his autocratic predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
The troops, including commandos and in full combat gear, deployed just as darkness fell across much of the Egyptian capital at key facilities, on bridges over the Nile River and at major intersections. They also surrounded rallies being held by Morsi's supporters - an apparent move to keep them contained if a final move on the president is made.
Morsi's Islamist supporters have vowed to resist what they call a coup against democracy, and have also taken to the streets by the tens of thousands. Still, at the Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque, their main rally, some sought to depict the soldiers sealing off the nearby streets as on their side. They handed them flags, took pictures with them and chanted, "The army and people are one hand."
At least 39 people have been killed in clashes since Sunday, raising fears of further bloodshed. Egypt was mostly peaceful on Wednesday, with the only report of violence coming from the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh where supporters and opponents of Morsi clashed. At least 200 people were injured there, but no fatalities.
(With additional information from agencies)