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(CBS) Egypt’s military has ousted the nation’s Islamist president, replacing him with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, calling for early presidential election and suspending the Islamist-backed constitution.

Army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, said a government of technocrats will be appointed to run the country during a transition period he did not specify.

El-Sissi said that the military was forced to act because Morsi “did not meet the demands of the masses of the people.”

An aide of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Ayman Ali, said the former leader has been moved to an undisclosed location. He gave no details.

Cheers erupted among millions of protesters nationwide who were demanding Morsi’s ouster. Fireworks lit the Cairo night sky. Morsi supporters elsewhere in the city shouted “No to military rule.”

Just before the military’s deadline expired at 5:30 p.m. local time, one of Morsi’s top advisers decried that Egypt was experiencing a military coup.

Soon after the deadline passed, a military helicopter circled over the anti-Morsi crowds in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, which was transformed into a sea of furiously waving Egyptian flags. “Leave, leave,” they chanted to Morsi, electrified as they waited to hear of an army move. After nightfall, fireworks went off and green lasers flashed over the crowd.

CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward reported hours before the deadline passed that the mood on the streets of Cairo was extremely tense. Both Morsi and El-Sissi, have said they’re willing to die for their cause, and their thousands of backers on the streets were prepared for a fight.

Millions were in the main squares of major cities nationwide, demanding Morsi’s removal, in the fourth day of the biggest anti-government rallies the country has seen, surpassing even those in the uprising that ousted against his autocratic predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

The troops, including commandos and in full combat gear, deployed just as darkness fell across much of the Egyptian capital at key facilities, on bridges over the Nile River and at major intersections. They also surrounded rallies being held by Morsi’s supporters — an apparent move to keep them contained if a final move on the president is made.

Morsi’s Islamist supporters have vowed to resist what they call a coup against democracy, and have also taken to the streets by the tens of thousands. Still, at the Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque, their main rally, some sought to depict the soldiers sealing off the nearby streets as on their side.

They handed them flags, took pictures with them and chanted, “The army and people are one hand.”

At least 39 people have been killed in clashes since Sunday, raising fears of further bloodshed. Egypt was mostly peaceful on Wednesday, with the only report of violence coming from the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh where supporters and opponents of Morsi clashed. At least 200 people were injured there, but no fatalities.