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July 3, 2013
Army tightens grip as Egypt awaits final move

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military moved to tighten its control of key institutions Wednesday, sending troops backed with armored vehicles to the heart of Cairo and slapping a travel ban on President Mohammed Morsi and top allies in preparation for an almost certain push to remove the Islamist president with the expiration of an afternoon deadline.

Just before the military's deadline expired, Morsi repeated a vow not to step down, and one of his top advisers decried that Egypt is experiencing a military coup.

For the second time in 2½ years of political upheaval, the powerful army appears to be positioned to remove the country's leader. But this time, it would be ousting a democratically elected president, the first in Egypt's history -- making its move potentially explosive.

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.

(46 images)




Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag during outside of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chants slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chants slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi wave national flags during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi celebrate as they watch the news at a coffee shop near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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A supporter of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi carries a photo of him during a rally, in Nasser City, Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Front pages of Egyptian independent newspapers are fronted by his pictures with Arabic title read, " leave," and " by shoe" in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Military special forces aim their weapons as they surround Nasser City in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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A protester runs past a fire raging during clashes in Giza, Egypt, early Wednesday, July 3, 2013. AP / Nameer Galal
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Fireworks light the sky as opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Plainclothes policemen walk with protesters opposed to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the site of clashes with opposing protesters in the Kit Kat neighborhood of Giza, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Roger Anis
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi wearing a Guy Fawkes mask flashes the victory sign under a large Egyptian national flag during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi blows a vuvuzela during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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An Egyptian man holds a poster supporting Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, with Arabic writing that reads "no alternative to legitimacy, during a rally near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi bangs a drum with Arabic that reads, "leave, you loser," during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi train with sticks outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hold sticks and wear protective gear during training outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Sayed Saafan, 57, right, an Egyptian supporter of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, holds stick and wears protective gear during training outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi sleeps in a tent next to a wall graffiti with Arabic writing reads who assigned you did not die" as he and others protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An Egyptian protester waves a national flag on a roof in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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Military helicopters fly over the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi holds a banner with Arabic that reads, "leave," during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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An Egyptian woman chants slogans, as protesters ransack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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Protesters pray during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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Egyptian protesters pray during a rally against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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An Egyptian protester waves a national flag as Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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An Egyptian protester attacks the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Hassan Ammar
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Nariman El-Mofty
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Opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Nariman El-Mofty
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Egyptian protester chants slogans against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi during a rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An opponent of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chants slogans as he holds pot covers with Arabic that reads, "leave," during a protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Khalil Hamra
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An Egyptian protesters chant slogans and hold anti-Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi poster with Arabic reads, "Rebel and down with Muslim Brotherhood rule," during a rally in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Egyptian protesters take a rest during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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Thousands of Egyptian protesters gather in Tahrir Square to rally against Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Saturday, June 29, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo
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Egyptian protesters wave their hands and hold national flags during anti-President Mohammed Morsi demonstration in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Egyptian protesters chant slogans against President Mohammed Morsi in El-Sa'ah square downtown Damietta, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. AP / Hamada Elrasam
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Egyptian protesters shout anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans as they hold posters depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and President Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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An Egyptian protester shouts anti-President Mohammed Morsi slogans and holds a red card with Arabic reading "leave", during a protest in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. AP / Amr Nabil
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Egyptian women chant slogans against President Mohammed Morsi during a demonstration in in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Thursday, June 27, 2013. AP / Manu Brabo

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