The top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood defiantly spoke before a cheering crowd of supporters in Egypt's Tahrir Square today, vowing to reinstate ousted President Mohammed Morsi and end military rule. In his first public appearance since Mohamed Morsi's ouster, Mohammed Badie declared to tens of thousands of supporters, "We are [Morsi's] soldiers we defend him with our lives." Security officials had reported that Badie was taken into custody soon after the military removed Morsi on Wednesday night. Just before Badie's appearance, the Brotherhood's political party said on its webpage that he had "been released." But on stage, Badie denied he was ever arrested. More developments from today:
- Egypt's military-backed interim president dissolved the country's upper house of parliament, which was overwhelmingly dominated by Islamists and Morsi allies, as soldiers opened fire on mostly Islamist protesters in Cairo. The Shura Council, which normally does not legislate, held legislative powers under Morsi's presidency because the lower house had been dissolved. State TV reported Adli Mansour's constitutional decree dissolving the body but did not give further details.
- Mansour also named the head of General Intelligence, Rafaat Shehata, as his security adviser.
Ten people have been killed
- The African Union suspended Egypt from membership in the continental body. AU Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, that Morsi's ouster falls under the AU doctrine on unconstitutional changes of government. AU officials decided today to block Egypt from all activities of the continental body until constitutional order is restored in the nation, she said.
- In America, a photo of John Kerry on his yacht as the coup roared Wednesday is creating quite an uproar, Gawker reports. The State Department initially denied Kerry was on his boat, then admitted he was, albeit "briefly."
in clashes so far.