Cairo (CNN) -- Egypt's military deposed the country's first democratically elected president Wednesday night, installing the head of the country's highest court as an interim leader, the country's top general announced.
Gen. Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi said the military was fulfilling its "historic responsibility" to protect the country by ousting Mohamed Morsy, the Western-educated Islamist leader elected a year ago. Morsy failed to meet demands to share power with opponents who thronged the streets of Cairo, and those crowds erupted as the announcement was made.
Ahead of the statement, troops moved into key positions around the capital and surrounded a demonstration by Morsy's supporters in a Cairo suburb. Citing an unnamed presidential source, the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that "the General Command of the Armed Forces told President Morsy around 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) that he is no longer a president for the republic."
At the final hour, Morsy offered to form an interim coalition government "that would manage the upcoming parliamentary electoral process, and the formation of an independent committee for constitutional amendments to submit to the upcoming parliament," he said in a posting on his Facebook page. He noted that hundreds of thousands of supporters and protesters had packed plazas around the country, and he urged that his countrymen be allowed to express their opinions through the ballot box.
"One of the mistakes I cannot accept -- as the president of all Egyptians -- is to side with one party over another, or to present the scene from one side only. To be fair, we need to listen to the voice of people in all squares," the statement read.
But as night fell Wednesday, troops surrounded a pro-Morsy demonstration at a Cairo mosque and took control of a key bridge across the Nile River. Gehad El-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, reported via Twitter that tanks were on the streets.
Morsy was said to be working from a complex belonging to the country's Republican Guard, across the street from the presidential palace, according to Egyptian state media. Reuters reported that troops were setting up barricades around that facility.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. government -- Egypt's leading ally -- could not confirm reports of a coup. Psaki said the United States is not taking sides and urged all parties to come to a peaceful resolution to the "tense and fast-moving" situation.