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Egypt chaos: Mubarak refuses to step down

By Haris Afzal on Saturday, January 29, 2011 with 0 comments

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refused to bow to demands that he resign after ordering troops and tanks into cities in an attempt to quell protests against his 30-year rule. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is due to appoint a new government after firing his previous administration amid a wave of protests against his rule. Demonstrators were still out in the streets in the early hours of the morning, as were looters.
Parts of Cairo resembled a war zone, filled with smoke, rubble and the smell of tear gas. Mubarak dismissed his government and called for national dialogue to avert chaos after a day of battles between police and protestors. Medical sources said at least 24 people had been killed and over a thousand injured in clashes in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria. 'It is not by setting fire and by attacking private and public property that we achieve the aspirations of Egypt and its sons, but they will be achieved through dialogue, awareness and effort,' he said in a televised address, his first public appearance since the protests began four days ago. US President Barack Obama said he had spoken with Mubarak and urged 'concrete steps that advance the rights of the Egyptian people'. The army, deployed for the first time in the crisis, cleared Cairo's Tahrir square towards midnight. Shortly after Mubarak's speech, protestors returned in their hundreds, defying a curfew. They said sacking the cabinet was far from enough. 'It was never about the government, by God. It is you (Mubarak) who has to go! What you have done to the people is enough!' said one protestor. Shots were heard in the evening near parliament and the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party was in flames, the blaze lighting up the night sky. Cars were set alight and police posts torched. More than half of the dead in yesterday's clashes were reported in Suez, the eastern city which has been ground zero for the most violent protests over the past four days. Mubarak, 82, has been a close ally of Washington and beneficiary of US aid for decades. The protests were triggered by the overthrow two weeks ago of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Al Ben Ali. Street protests in Tunis focused on similar issues of poverty and political repression. Demonstrations have also flared in Yemen, Algeria, Sudan and Jordan in recent weeks.

Category: World News

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