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Egyptians hail 'second revolution'

An interim president will be sworn in later on Thursday after President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.

Fireworks light up the sky as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians celebrate after Egytptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's speech announced the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt's landmark Tahrir square on3 July, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Picture: AFP/Khaled Desouki

CAIRO - Egypt's interim president will be sworn in later today just hours after the ousting of President Mohamad Morsi.

Late last night the Egyptian army deposed the president after only a year in office.

It comes after four days of demonstrations calling for Morsi to step down.

Bloody clashes have left more than 50 people dead since Sunday.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement is calling it a military coup, but protestors deny this.

The next 24 hours are critical.

The army is holding ousted Morsi at a military facility in Cairo on Thursday and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders were arrested in a crackdown on the movement that won several elections last year.

The army have threatened to clear all pro-Morsi protests and have even sent in troops to monitor hotspots.

Meanwhile, celebrations continue in Tahrir Square and other key points around the country.

Vast crowds partied and kept screaming a "second revolution" to match the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The mood is festive as the head of the Constitutional Court will be sworn in as interim president later today.

At least 14 people were killed and hundreds wounded in street clashes.

REACTION

The United Nations, the United States and other world powers did not condemn Morsi's removal as a military coup. To do so might trigger sanctions.

American President Barack Obama says he is deeply concerned with developments and has ordered a review of US aid to the country.

Obama has urged the Egyptian military to take a measured approach and return the country swiftly to civilian rule.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon understands Egyptians have "deep frustrations" but expressed concern over the ousting.

Ban believes that "military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern," said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.

The European Union also called for a rapid return to the democratic process.

Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement that should mean "free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution."

COUNTDOWN

The clock started ticking for Morsi when millions took to the streets on Sunday to demand he resign.

They accused his Brotherhood of hijacking the revolution, entrenching its power and - critically for many - failing to revive the economy.

That gave armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who already had his own reservations about the state of the nation under Morsi, a justification to invoke the "will of the people" and demand the president share power or step aside.

(Additional reporting by Reuters)

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