Egypt's military stages fly pasts over Cairo

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 04, 2013 6:11 AM
Egypt's military stages fly pasts over Cairo

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's air force staged several fly pasts in a smoggy Cairo sky on Thursday minutes before the country's interim leader was sworn in, in a vivid reminder of the military's role in ousting Mohamed Mursi as head of state.

Fourteen jets in V-formation blazed over downtown Cairo shortly before Adli Mansour, chief justice of the constitutional court, became interim president.

Nine more jets then flew at low altitude, leaving a trail of red, white, and black smoke behind them to signify the colors of the Egyptian flag.

A formation of propeller planes buzzed overhead in a stunt likely to prove popular with many Egyptians who have cheered the military's decision to step in and remove Mursi after millions of people took to the streets at the weekend calling for his resignation.

Hundreds of thousands of people partied late on Wednesday in Cairo's Tahrir Square after the army announced it had toppled Mursi. They chanted pro-army slogans and cheered gleefully as army helicopters flew past trailing Egyptian flags behind them.

State news agency MENA reported early on Thursday that the air force would stage a performance in the Cairo skies to "celebrate the triumph of popular will."

(Reporting by Cairo bureau; Writing by Maggie Fick; editing by Mike Collett-White)