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Egypt rounds up Mursi's leadership

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Haitham El-Tabei

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Egypt's new president takes oath

Egypt's new interim President, Adli Mansour, is sworn in after former leader Mohamed Mursi was forced from office.

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Cairo: Egypt's army has rounded up the leadership of ousted president Mohamed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood after the country's top judge took office.

The prosecution will begin questioning members of the group, including Dr Mursi, for "insulting the judiciary."  

Dr Mursi's government has unravelled after the army gave him a 48-hour ultimatum in the wake of massive demonstrations since June 30 against his turbulent rule.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clash with riot police in front of Egypt's Constitutional Court.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clash with riot police in front of Egypt's Constitutional Court. Photo: Reuters

Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Dr Mursi's overthrow, citing his inability to end a deepening political crisis, as dozens of armoured personnel carriers streamed onto Cairo's streets.

And on Thursday, the army turned the screws on the Brotherhood, with military police arresting supreme leader Mohammed Badie "for inciting the killing of protesters", a security official said.

A judicial source says the prosecution will on Monday begin questioning members of the group, including Dr Mursi, for "insulting the judiciary" as the charges began to pile up.

Other Brotherhood leaders would be questioned on the same charges, including the head of the group's political arm Saad al-Katatni, Mohammed al-Beltagui, Gamal Gibril and Taher Abdel Mohsen.

Dr Mursi and other senior leaders have also been banned from travel pending investigation into their involvement in a prison break in 2011.

The arrests come after chief justice Adly Mansour, 67, was sworn in as interim president at a ceremony broadcast live from the Supreme Constitutional Court.

He will serve until elections at a yet-to-be determined date, said General Sisi, as he laid out a roadmap for a political transition that includes a freeze on the Islamist-drafted constitution.

A senior military officer said the army was "preventively" holding Dr Mursi and that he might face formal charges linked to his prison escape during the revolt that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Dr Mursi's rule was marked by a spiralling economic crisis, shortages of fuel and often deadly opposition protests.

Thousands of protesters dispersed after celebrating wildly through the night at the news of his downfall.

Egypt's press almost unanimously hailed Dr Mursi's ouster as a "legitimate" revolution.

World powers have hedged their bets after the Egyptian military ousted president Dr Mursi.

There have been calls for a return to democracy, offset by a lack of condemnation of the overthrow of the Islamist leader.

The US and European Union both indicated that aid to Egypt would not immediately be affected, while Russia and China hinted that they viewed events there as a popular uprising rather than a coup.

Middle Eastern governments meanwhile welcomed the toppling of Mursi on Wednesday after days of bloody protests, with war-hit Syria hailing the great achievement, but others fearing that the unrest could spread.

US President Barack Obama said Egypt’s future can only be determined by the Egyptian people, but added he was deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove president Mursi and suspend the Egyptian constitution.

Top judge Adly Mansour has been sworn in overnight as temporary president.

AFP

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