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Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi slogans outside the presidential palace, background, under a banner with a defaced picture of President Mohammed Morsi and Arabic that reads "the people want to bring down the regime," in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Egypt's military warned on Saturday of "disastrous consequences" if the crisis that sent tens of thousands of protesters back into the streets is not resolved, signaling the army's return to an increasingly polarized and violent political scene.

Hassan Ammar, Associated Press - Ap

Egyptian army takes over security ahead of vote

  • Associated Press
  • December 10, 2012 - 5:47 AM

CAIRO - The Egyptian military has assumed responsibility for security and protecting state institutions in the country until the results of a Dec. 15 constitutional referendum.

The army took up the task Monday in line with a decree a day earlier from President Mohammed Morsi.

The presidential edict orders the military and police to jointly maintain security in the run-up to Saturday's vote on the disputed charter that was hurriedly approved last month by a panel dominated by the president's Islamist allies.

The decree, which also grants the military the right to arrest civilians, is seen as evidence of how jittery the government is about the referendum, which the main opposition parties have rejected.

The edict goes into effect on the eve of mass rallies called by the opposition and Morsi's supporters.

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