Egyptians Unyielding on Massive 'Departure Day' Protest against Mubarak

World | February 4, 2011, Friday // 15:55|  views

Protesters gathered for the continuing anti-government rally on Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, 04 February 2011.

Hundreds of thousands rallied on Tahrir Square in Cairo for eleventh day in a row demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

Friday's protest was called "Day of Departure" in expectation that Mubarak will bow to popular pressure and step down. It takes place exactly one week after the "Day of Anger", January 28, and three days after the "March of a Million" which prompted Mubarak to sack the government and to declare he would not seek a new term in the elections in September.

"Today is the last day," chanted the protesters in Egypt with Arab pop songs in the background. Many of them camped out in the square during the night despite the pleas of the army and Vice President Omar Suleiman to go home because their demands were heard by the authorities.

In the air, and on the ground, the Egyptian army took up positions to guard the entrance to Tahrir square. The army continued to guard the protesters against the alleged supporters of President Mubarak, who are suspected to be thugs hired and sent by the police; early on Thursday 10 people were killed and 800 wounded as Mubarak's supporters assaulted the anti-government protesters, including with gunfire.

The counter-measure of the pro-Mubarak groups on Friday included blocking the road from Alexandria to Cairo to prevent the influx of additional protesters.

Thousands of anti-government protesters marched peacefully into the square following Muslim Friday prayers.

On Thursday, Mubarak told ABC in an interview that he wanted to step down but feared Egypt might descend into chaos should that happen.

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Tags: Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, civil unrest, street protests, Tahrir, Cairo


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