Mohammed ElBaradei has resigned from his position as Egypt’s interim vice-president in protest of the police crackdown on two encampments supporting ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
ElBaradei, the Nobel peace laureate and former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, took the post on July 14.
His resignation comes amid a violent police crackdown on sit-in camps of supporters of ousted president Morsi, including one located near the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City.
In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, ElBaradei said he is not prepared to be held responsible for a “single drop of blood” and warned that violence will breed more violence.
“The only ones who benefit from today’s events are the terrorists and the anarchists and the extremists, and you will do well to remember what I said. May God save and Bless Egypt and its people,” he said in his statement, which was translated to English on the website Cairo Scene.
“…I pray to God all mighty that he keep this country safe and that the people achieve their goals and that we do not lose the gains we have garnered from the revolution on the 25th of January, 2011.”
ElBaradei has been a prominent figure in Egyptian politics since the 2011 uprising that saw the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak fall apart.
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour on Wednesday ordered a month-long state of emergency and placed a curfew on Cairo and in 10 other provinces.
Egypt’s official news agency says 149 people have been killed in clashes across the nation between supporters of the ousted Islamist president and security forces.
ElBaradei said in an interview earlier this month Morsi’s ouster, on July 3, was not a coup d’état, rather it was “the army providing support for a popular uprising.”
“When you have 20 million people calling on Mr. Morsi to leave, and the army had to step in to avoid a civil war, does that make it a coup d’état? Of course not,” he told Slate.
But in the Aug. 3 interview, he said he wanted the army to avoid cracking down on the pro-Morsi protesters.
*With files from The Associated Press