TODAY   |  July 03, 2013

Morsi defies ultimatum from Egyptian army

Violent clashes continue in Cairo where demonstrators are protesting against Mohammed Morsi’s presidency. Morsi is declaring he’d rather die than forfeit his post as the Egyptian army threatens to remove him by force. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> off. you're looking at live pictures in cairo where tension is rising this morning amid the deadly protests.

>> and this morning, trying to find a solution and bring that violence to an end is looming large. we'll get to richard engle who is in cairo for us this morning. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. in fact, we're just hours away from the deadline set by the egyptian army for the egyptian president to resolve this political standoff or else the army is threatening to possibly remove him by force. but so far today, we are not seeing any sign of a potential cue. no tanks, no curfew, no rising tensions. the first clash in what could become a new phase of violence in egypt. supporters of the president claim they were attacked in cairo overnight by police and hired goons. in videos posted online live ammunition can be heard. at least 16 were killed. it's the first major out break in this country, now divided between protestors who demand president morsi step down because of what they claim is poor performance, and supporters that back the president's islamic agenda and insist he was fairly elected. morsi himself says he isn't going anywhere. in an angry speech he said he would rather die than give up the elected post. the largely secular egyptian army apparently took that as a threat. in a statement the army said it would take every effort to prevent terrorism in egypt. a warner to the president's supporters.

>> and richard , what would happen if the military decided to remove the president by force?

>> reporter: that is what people here are concerned about. the muslim brother hood for 80 years operated as a secret organization working underground. it's now been in charge of this country for a year. it has been stock piling weapons. many of them coming from libya according to numerous reports and there is a fear that muslim brotherhood supporters, people that back morsi that feel that he is being threatened right now and if he were to be removed would be ill lwrongly removed they could start fighting and against protestors and the government.

>> richard engle with the latest.