Goodbye Mubarak?
Photo: Reuters

Report: Mubarak, family leave Cairo

Al-Arabiya television says Egyptian president left capital to Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from military airbase in suburbs

Al Arabiya television reported on Friday that President Hosni Mubarak and his family had left Cairo from a military airbase in the suburbs and had travelled to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.


It did not give a source for the series of reports on the movement of the president and his family. Al-Arabiya said it had confirmed the arrival of the president and his family in Sharm el-Sheikh.


A senior military source contacted by Reuters declined to comment on the report. Al-Arabiya had initially reported "news" that Mubarak and his family had left Egypt.


The president often spends time in Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular tourist destination on the Red Sea, and receives guests there.


Live broadcast from Tahrir Square (Video: Reuters)


Protesters enraged at Mubarak's refusal to quit pledged to march from Tahrir Square to the presidential palace on Friday, raising fears of a confrontation between elite troops and demonstrators.


Tens of thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters assembled in Tahrir (Liberation) Square while troops in tanks and armored vehicles stood by for what organizers billed as their biggest display of indignation in 18 days of protest.


In a statement read out on state television at midday, the military announced that it would lift a 30-year-old state of emergency "according to the situation", but gave no time frame.


The statement said the military would also guarantee changes to the constitution as well as a free and fair election, and it called for normal business activity to resume.


A few hundred protesters also gathered outside Mubarak's palace on Friday, demanding he step down now and the army did not try to remove them, a Reuters witness said. Razor wire and six tanks and armored vehicles separated them from the palace.


"Down, down Hosni Mubarak!" chanted the protesters, who had apparently been allowed to approach the palace in the suburb of Heliopolis. A sign delivering the same message was attached to razor wire blocking one of the entrances to the residence.


Protesters emerged from dozens of tents where they had bedded down for a night of frustration and disappointment, having turned up for a resignation speech only to hear Mubarak say he planned to hand over powers to his deputy.


He also said the transfer was in line with the constitution which leaves him in ultimate charge, and able to return.


Vice President Omar Suleiman, a 74-year-old former intelligence chief who has maintained close relations with the United States and Israel, later appeared on television himself to promise a "road map" to democratic elections.




פרסום ראשון: 02.11.11, 14:52
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