Egypt Army Chief's Ominous Warning: 'State Collapse'

Violence rages for 6th day
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2013 7:11 AM CST
Updated Jan 29, 2013 7:38 AM CST
Egypt Army Chief's Ominous Warning: 'State Collapse'
A protester with Arabic writing on his shirt that reads, "down down, with the rule of the supreme leader," throws a tear gas canister at riot police near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

As violent clashes in Egypt continue for a sixth day, the Army chief of staff has a dire warning for protesters: If there is no reconciliation, Egypt could see the "collapse of the state." Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi also wrote on the official Army Facebook page today that any attacks on state institutions will be seen as a "serious matter that harms Egyptian national security and the future of Egypt," the New York Times reports.

The comments reflect the Army's increasing impatience and concern over the situation, but Reuters notes that it's unlikely the Army wants to take back the power it held while Hosni Mubarak was in power and, briefly, after he was removed from power. The death toll over the past week has hit at least 52, and protesters in three Suez Canal cities are defiantly ignoring the curfew set by President Mohamed Morsi by thronging in the streets after 9pm. And in Cairo, masked men stormed a luxury hotel's lobby last night—and the hotel live-tweeted the whole thing. No one was seriously hurt. (More Mohamed Morsi stories.)

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