Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has defended the military's decision to expel Mohamed Morsi as president, claiming the Muslim Brotherhood leader's aggressive actions left them no choice.
During a televised speech, al-Sisi claimed the Islamist president "entered into a conflict with the judiciary, the media, the police and the public opinion. Then [he] also entered into a conflict with the armed forces."
The general also told his audience that Morsi was urged to hold a referendum on two separate occasions, to determine whether or not he should continue in power - but chose to ignore the request on both occasions.
"The military forces have worked to give an opportunity for politicians to be responsible and to agree and understand each other in order for the country not to fall in [to] such a political polarisation," al-Sisi said.
Shortly after Morsi's removal, unrest engulfed Egypt as scores of protests continue to erupt. Some of the demonstrations led to clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi killing dozens over the week.
However the Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which Morsi hails, has heaped scorn on al-Sisi's latest remarks.
"The guy [al-Sisi] is either lying or his troops are operating without his knowledge, because the only thing we're seeing from him are arbitrary arrests, confiscation of assets and killing of our protesters," said Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad el-Haddad.
Meanwhile Morsi's Muslim supporters have announced two separate marches. One group will head to the National Security Council headquarters while another will go to the Republican Guard headquarters, where 51 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed by army troops in a bloody massacre.
The Brotherhood supporters are holding a sit-in in Cairo demanding the reinstatement of Morsi. Local reports suggest military helicopters have dropped hundreds of leaflets urging them to leave the area for their own safety.