Helicopters Seen Leaving Presidential Palace in Cairo

World | February 11, 2011, Friday // 17:45|  views

Egyptian anti-government protesters face an army tank as they stand behind barbed wire ar the Presidential Palace (not pictured) in Cairo, Egypt, 11 February 2011. EPA/BGNES

At least two helicopters have been seen, leaving the presidential palace in Cairo, witnesses said amid reports that the embattled president Hosni Mubarak has fled the capital.

A local government official has said he is in the red sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

After high hopes were squashed by President Hosni Mubarak's refusal to relinquish power, tens of thousands of Egyptians filled the streets of Cairo on Friday, perhaps the largest crowds yet in the 18 days of uprising.

Although it appears that he has defied the people's call for him to step aside, Egyptian diplomats said on Friday he has indeed relinquished power to his deputy, Omar Suleiman. The army also stated that a handover of power had begun.

All eyes fell on the powerful army as the protests were expected to gain momentum after the conclusion of midday prayers.

Analysts said the military could play a key role if demonstrations swell.

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Tags: Suleiman, Omar, president, vice, protest, Cairo, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, presidential palace


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