A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest opposition group, said Egyptians had achieved the main goal of their popular uprising after President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Friday.
"I salute the Egyptian people and the martyrs. This is the day of victory for the Egyptian people. The main goal of the revolution has been achieved," Mohamed el-Katatni, former leader of the Brotherhood's parliamentary bloc, told Reuters.
Katatni said the Brotherhood awaits the next steps to be taken by the Higher Military Council, which has taken charge of the country's affairs after Mubarak's decision.
Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza let off fireworks and shot into the air to celebrate Mubarak's departure Friday, and Hamas called on Egypt's new rulers to change his policies.
"The resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is the beginning of the victory of the Egyptian revolution," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
"Such a victory was the result of the sacrifices and the steadfastness of the Egyptian people," he told Reuters.
"We call upon the new Egyptian leadership to take an immediate decision to lift the blockade of Gaza and open Rafah (border) crossing permanently to allow people's free movement and in order for the reconstruction process of Gaza to begin," said Abu Zuhri.
Fireworks also lit up Beirut's sky Friday following the news from Egypt. Celebratory gunfire could be heard in the Shiite dominated areas in south Lebanon and in southern Beirut.On al-Manar TV, Hezbollah's television station, Egyptian anchor Amr Nassef cried emotionally on the air and said: "Allahu Akbar, the Pharaoh is dead. Am I dreaming? I'm afraid to be dreaming."
Hezbollah later congratulated the Egyptian people over its "historic victory," and Iran did the same, stressing that the Egyptian people achieved a "great victory."
AFP contributed to the story
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