Brotherhood invited. Suleiman
Photo: AFP

VP: Mubarak won't seek presidency again

In effort to calm violence in Cairo, Suleiman calls for constitutional changes, says Muslim Brotherhood invited to meet with new government; tanks continue to push Mubarak supporters from Tahrir Square. Doctor: 10 killed in clashes

Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman told state television on Thursday that President Hosni Mubarak will not seek another term in office, the latest concession to anti-government protesters.


Suleiman added that his country had "at least $1 billion lost in tourism in the last nine days" and that 1 million tourists had left during the turmoil.



The former intelligence chief called for the release of the many protestors who have been arrested by police and said changes in Egypt's constitution were required to maintain stability.


However, the Washington Post reported that at least two dozen reporters were detained in Cairo on Thursday.


The VP also said the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized opposition movement, has been invited to meet with the new government as part of a national dialogue with all parties.


A doctor at a makeshift clinic said 10 people have been killed during the violent clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square.


Dr Sayyid Hussein said the makeshift clinic, operating out of a mosque near the square, had registered 10 deaths.


"An hour an a half ago, two people were rushed to me with gunshot wounds to the head. They were gasping and died. A third case followed, which was very severe, but that case was taken to hospital by ambulance," said another doctor, Yasser Tibi, at a field station of the makeshift clinic.


The health minister earlier said six had been killed and more than 800 wounded.



Soldier and protestor in Cairo Thursday (Photo: Reuters)


He made his remarks in a speech, excerpts of which were reported by state TV. The Islamist group is formally banned in Egypt and has been accused by the authorities of trying to seek power through peaceful means.


The past few hours have seen Egyptian army tanks pushing pro-Mubarak protestors out of Tahrir Square in Cairo, without the use of live fire.


Also Thursday, anti-government demonstrators expanded their control in central Cairo by taking over the "Sixth of October" bridge, which overlooks Tahrir Square, after driving the pro-Mubarak protestors away from the area with stones.


Meanwhile, Turkish news agency Anatolia reported that a Turkish reporter was pummeled by pro-Mubarak demonstrators near Tahrir Square. According to the report, TRT reporter Metin Turan was hit by Mubarak supporters with sticks and had his tooth broken. His camera, wallet and his mobile phone were stolen, Antolia reported.


Earlier, Egypt's prime minister apologized for the attack by regime supporters on anti-government protesters in central Cairo, vowing to investigate who was behind it.


The protesters accuse the regime of sending a force of paid thugs and policemen in civilian clothes to attack them with rocks, sticks and firebombs to crush their movement to oust President Mubarak.

Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has told state TV, "I offer my apology for everything that happened yesterday because it's neither logical nor rational."


The public apology from a top government official was highly unusual. Shafiq called the attack a "blatant mistake" and promised to investigate "so everyone knows who was behind it."


Roee Nahmias AP, Reuters contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 02.03.11, 19:11
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