Egypt's Sisi resigns as defence minister

Abdel Fattah el-SisiCairo, March 27 - Egypt's defence minister and armed forces chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, tendered his resignation Wednesday, the media reported.

Sisi is expected to run for president in the upcoming presidential election, the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Quoting a military source, the daily said Sisi was expected to announce the decision in a statement.

News of Sisi's resignation came amid reports that one person had been killed during protests against Monday's court verdict that sentenced more than 500 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death. At least
30 people were wounded in the protests, according to Al Jazeera.

The army deposed Morsi last year after mass protests against his rule and Sisi is widely expected to win the election. He must resign as defence minister and from the army to contest the election.

Sisi, 59, is popular among Egyptians who supported the army's decision to remove Morsi from power one year into his term.

But he is reviled by pro-Muslim Brotherhood opposition which sees him as the mastermind of a coup against an elected leader and the author of a crackdown on dissent.(IANS)