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PostSubject: Egypt protests - live updates   Egypt protests - live updates EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 11:25 pm

Egypt protests - live updates




• Anger at Mubarak's refusal to stand down immediately
• Barack Obama calls for change to 'begin now'
• Protesters and Mubarak supporters clash
• Read a summary of today's events so far
• Translate this page into Arabic












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Egypt protests - live updates Pro-government-demonstrat-007
Government supporters throw a firebomb towards pro-democracy demonstrators below. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP



10.36pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-104
The Obama administration appears to be slowly hardening its stance this
evening, with a State Department official now saying that Mubarak has
"a narrow amount of time" to take concrete steps toward reform.
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#Egypt:
State Dept: "There is a sentiment in the govt they can outlive the
protestors. This is a false assumption. They are not going away,"less than a minute ago via webEgypt protests - live updates Elise_normalElise Labott
eliselabottcnn

Elise Labott, senior State Department producer for CNN, has been tweeting her briefing from the State Department.
10.29pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-103
After Egypt, is Algeria next? Pro-government members of Algeria's
parliament have proposed lifting the state of emergency that has been in
force for 19 years, a key demand of a protest organised for 12
February.Algeria's official news agency APS said 21 members of
parliament had proposed a motion to scrap the state of emergency, enough
to force the assembly and government to debate the issue.But
Nouredine Yazid Zerhouni, the deputy prime minister, said the government
had no plans to lift the state of emergency. "Those who are calling for
this march must take responsibility for damage or for things getting
out of hand," Zerhouni said, according to state media.
10.23pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-102
The toll of those injured today in Cairo has reached more than 1,500
people, a doctor at an emergency clinic at the scene has told Reuters:<blockquote class="quoted">Many
of the injuries were from metal rods smashing faces and from bricks and
rocks, said Dr Mona Mina, who is working at the clinic in the nearby
Omar Makram mosque.The casualty toll, higher than that provided by the health ministry, includes many light injuries, she added.</blockquote>
10.17pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-101
More from the State Department, with spokesman PJ Crowley suggesting
that the US is reconciled to the Muslim Brotherhood being a part of
whatever government replaces Mubarak's regime.After urging the
Muslim Brotherhood to respect democratic processes, Crowley acknowledged
that its presence is "a fact of life in Egypt".
10.10pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-100 Reuters reports comments from an anonymous "senior official" inside the White House:<blockquote class="quoted">The
administration senior official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of
anonymity, said Wednesday's clashes could convince the Egyptian military
that it needs to pressure Mubarak to do more.The official also
said it was clear that "somebody loyal to Mubarak has unleashed these
guys to try to intimidate the protesters," a reference to pro-Mubarak
forces. "That shows that they're still dug in."</blockquote>
10.05pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-99
Tahrir Square now seems to be relatively calm, with anti-Mubarak
protesters retaking parts of the square that they were pushed out of by
the government supporters earlier in the day, where much of the violence
took place.CNN's Anderson Cooper, looking down on Tahrir Square,
reports that the anti-Mubarak groups have retaken the large area around
Egyptian Museum, and have put up barricades and set several cars on
fire."I'm sorry I've got to duck down, some shoots have been fired," says Cooper, who seems not to have slept for three days.Some
molotov cocktails are still being thrown. CNN's camera is showing the
burning cars and barricades being constructed on both sides.
10pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-98
It's midnight in Egypt, and Al Arabiya television is quoting the
Egyptian health minister that three people have been killed in violence
between supporters and opponents in Cairo today, with some 600 injured.That's an increase from the ministry's earlier claim that only one person had been killed.
9.54pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-97
More details from the State Department briefing this afternoon, and the
news that Hillary Clinton's call to Omar Suleiman was the first by a
senior member of the administration since Suleiman was appointed vice
president.State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said that Clinton
condemned the violence. But, incredibly, Crowley also said: "We don't
know who's responsible for the violence," which he described as being
caused by "thugs" and called it an attempt to intimidate protesters.
9.47pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-96
The Atlantic's Graeme Wood managed to arrive in the centre of Cairo
just in time to be caught up in the violence – and filed this vivid eyewitness account of what took place inside Tahrir Square:<blockquote class="quoted">Gradually,
near the entrance to the Egyptian Museum, each side began to realize
that neither faction would be overrun completely. Entrenchment began,
and a no-man's-land of about a hundred yards opened up. I stood there in
the middle, taking video, dodging rocks coming from the side I could
see and holding my notebook to cover the side I couldn't. Then, right by
the Egyptian Museum entrance, five men in plainclothes grabbed me, hit
me three times, twice in the back and once in the chest, and brought me
toward the Museum itself. They grabbed my video camera and still camera,
shouting "memory card," and tried to break it when they couldn't figure
out how to remove it. Then two of them grabbed my arms and ejected me
from the square, onto the Nile corniche, which was so calm that the
first person I met was a newspaper journalist who had to ask me whether
we were among Mubarak supporters or protesters.</blockquote>
9.39pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-95 One side-effect of the tumult in Tunisia and Egypt has been to massively raise the profile of al-Jazeera English in the US, where the news channel has been carried by very few cable TV providers (Washington DC residents are a lucky exception) thanks to hostility dating back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.Now,
though, Link TV has announced it is showing 12 hours of Al Jazeera
coverage on its DirecTV satellite channel (owned by a Mr R Murdoch),
which for those of you with DirecTV is on channel 375:<blockquote class="quoted">Link
TV, an independent broadcaster seen primarily on the DirecTV and Dish
satellite systems, said Wednesday it is simulcasting about 12 hours a
day of live Al-Jazeera coverage to about 33 million of the nation's
nearly 116 million homes with televisions.</blockquote>
9.30pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-94
John McCain, the US senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee,
has joined the calls for Mubarak to step down immediately.
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Regrettably
the time has come 4 Pres. Mubarak 2 step down & relinquish power.
It’s in the best interest of Egypt, its people & its military.less than a minute ago via webEgypt protests - live updates Twitter_normalJohn McCain
SenJohnMcCain

Naturally it comes via his Twitter feed @SenJohnMcCain
9.25pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-93
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has been in direct contact
today with Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman, the State Department
revealed.Clinton urged Suleiman "to hold accountable those responsible for violence" seen today.
9.15pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-92
CNN have just shown some amazing footage taken earlier today of the
attacks on its presenter Anderson Cooper near Tahrir Square. Anderson's
cameraman managed to secretly film the attack, and the journalists can
be seen being rushed and jostled by groups of young men – some clutching
photos of Mubarak – with punches being thrown and bottles of water
thrown. Some locals can be seen trying to help and ushering the CNN crew
out of the area."Clearly there were people who came there looking for a fight," Cooper tells his colleagues back in the studio.For all the criticisms of US television coverage, CNN's efforts this week have been superlative.
9.04pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-91
Good afternoon from Washington DC, where the Obama administration's
stance towards Egypt is coming under increasing pressure as the violent
scenes from Tahrir Square and other parts of Egypt are being shown live
on the US television.Obama's call both for an "orderly
transition" in power and for immediate change has been seized upon by
members of the Mubarak regime, according to the Associated Press:<blockquote class="quoted">An
Egyptian official says his government believes that White House demands
for President Hosni Mubarak to step down immediately are in "clear
contradiction" with Obama administration calls for an orderly transition
to a new government.The official, speaking for his government
from a location outside Egypt, told the Associated Press on Wednesday
that Mubarak's decision not to seek re-election in September was not a
result of White House pressure.The official spoke on condition of
anonymity, saying his government would not allow him to associate his
name with the statement.The official said in the statement:
"There is a clear contradiction between an orderly process of transition
and the insistence that this process be rushed."</blockquote>
8.57pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-90 The Committee to Protect Journalists has compiled a list of members of the media who have been attacked today. Mohamed Abel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator, said:<blockquote class="quoted">The
Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses ot
their actions The government has resorted to blanket censorship,
intimidation and today a serious of deliberate attacks on journalists
carried out by pro-government mobs.</blockquote>I'm handing over to my colleague Richard Adams now.
8.44pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-89 Jack Shenker is one block north of Tahrir Square, where he says there is "intense fighting".<blockquote class="quoted">I
can see Molotov cocktails being thrown from different roofs...There are
two battles going on, one on the ground and one in the air, on the
rooftops...They are throwing petrol bombs down on the crowd.</blockquote>
Listen!

Turn off auto refresh to listen to full audio


8.19pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-88 Still the battles continue near the museum:
Egypt protests - live updates Twitter

@RiverDryFilm<blockquote>Massive
battle going on to take control of the roofs opposite the museum.
Molotov cocktails still raining down on protestors #jan25Something is very seriously on fire in front of the barricade. #jan25The people have boys on pickup trucks to tell them where to throw. The police have a massive laser. #jan25</blockquote>
8.12pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-87 This video shows the attacks from earlier today, including, 1 minute 20 seconds in, a man on camel beating people with a stick


8.06pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-86
The newly appointed vice president Omar Suleiman has just urged the
protesters to go home, offering them the prospect of dialogue. That is
very unlikely to have any impact, judging by the determination the
protesters have shown today in the face of violent attack.
8.03pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-85 All accounts suggest Tahrir Square itself is relatively calm but fighting continues in the museum area.
7.48pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-84
The numbers have gone down in Tahrir Square but in the streets
surrounding it clashes continue. Pro-democracy protesters have been
urging people to join them there to help keep it in their hands.
Egypt protests - live updates Twitter

@mosaaberizing<blockquote>The thugs inside the square are quickly falling. Counted at least 20 arrested in last hour. #Jan25</blockquote>@RiverDryFilm<blockquote>Am at the front of the battle for the museum. The people are winning #jan25</blockquote>@hadeelalsh<blockquote>
Both sides battling on side streets. Pro-mubarak carrying machetes #egypt #jan25</blockquote>@Port_Sa3eedy<blockquote>
15,000 people coming from Sharkia to Tahrir sq to demand the fall of Mubarak and his ruthless regime</blockquote>
7.30pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-83 The missing al-Arabiya journalist Ahmad Abdallah (see 6.53pm) has reportedly been found but was beaten.
Egypt protests - live updates Twitter


7.22pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-82 Mohamed Effat (@3effat) tweets about the identity of the pro-Mubarak supporters:<blockquote>Today
In Tahrir square i SAW captured thugs admitting that they were paid
LE100 to protest and others with ID's of police officers #jan25</blockquote>
Egypt protests - live updates British-Foreign-Secretary-001

Photograph: Koca Sulejmanovic/EPA



7.19pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-81 The UK foreign secretary, William Hague, was on BBC Radio 4's PM programme
and said he has spoken to Gamal Mubarak today (thanks to @cornelia23)
in the comments section but said the president's son is in "Egypt...not
in London". There has been speculation as to his whereabouts amid no
public appearances or comments from him. Hague told PM:<blockquote>In
the last hour I have spoken to the president's son Gamal Mubarak and
said that if it turned out that there was state-sponsored violence that
would be catastrophic for Egypt and for those in the government now</blockquote>.
6.59pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-80 The Associated Press has written up the comments by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, see (6.45pm):<blockquote>The
White House said Wednesday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has a
chance to show the world "exactly who he is" by bringing desperately
needed transition to his country now. Press secretary Robert Gibbs also
decried bloody violence happening in Cairo, where pro-government forces
clashed with protesters a day after Mubarak announced he would not seek
re-election in September. That was not good enough for the protesters,
who want him out now. If any of the violence is instigated by the
government it should stop immediately," Gibbs said, while declining to
speculate whether the government was in fact behind the violence.
Protesters contend plainclothes police are among the pro-government
attackers. Gibbs said no decision had been made on cutting off the $1.5
billion in annual aid the US provides Egypt but that it was still under
review. Gibbs reiterated President Barack Obama's call from Tuesday
night that transition in Egypt must begin now but he did not explain
exactly what that meant or say whether Mubarak should resign now. "Now
means now," Gibbs said at the White House briefing. "The people of Egypt
need to see change, the people of Egypt need to see progress," he said.
Gibbs didn't directly answer when asked whether Obama viewed Mubarak as
a dictator, saying the Egyptian president had a chance to show who he
was.</blockquote>
Egypt protests - live updates Email


6.55pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-79 We received a very interesting email from a Brit living in Cairo, who does not want to be named:<blockquote>I
received a txt message from "Egypt Lovers" telling me to go to Tahrir
Square and show my support for the regime! The message was translated
for me by a friend and I understand it has been sent to everyone. How
did the pro-Mubarak supporters do that? How did they get everyones phone
numbers? Perhaps because "Egyt Lovers" are actually the interior
ministry...?</blockquote>
6.53pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-78 Al Arbiya says one of its journalists has been kidnapped by pro-Mubarak supporters.
Egypt protests - live updates Twitter

@SultanAlQassemi<blockquote>Al Arabiya is pleading for assistance in finding its missing reporter (captured by NDP thugs) Ahmad Abdallah to call 257 85 005.</blockquote>
6.49pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-77 Two ambulances have entered Tahrir Square, Al Jazeera is reporting.
6.45pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-76 Apologies, we've had some technical problems with the blog, which removed some of the content below.The White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in the last few minutes:<blockquote class="quoted">If any violence in Egypt is instigated by government, it should stop immediately.</blockquote>He rebuffed criticism that the US had been slow in supporting the pro-democracy protesters.
6.04pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-75 Here's a summary of events so far today
Egypt protests - live updates Recap1

Thousands of pro-Mubarak supporters have attacked pro-democracy supporters in central Cairo.
Some rode in on horses and camels (1.24pm). Many brandished iron bars
and baseball bats and they have also thrown rocks and ripped up bits of
pavement to create weapons.• Pro-democracy protesters have fought back and managed to keep control of Tahrir Square as clashes took place in all the side streets around Cairo's central plaza (4.43pm).• Eyewitnesses say hundreds of people have been injured.
An unconscious boy, no more than 8-years-old, was among those seen
being carried away for medical treatment. The health ministry said one person has been killed in Tahrir Square and 403 people injured (5.49pm)• The violence of the pro-Mubarak supporters appears to be organised, with policemen and hired thugs seemingly involved.
The UK prime minister, David Cameron, said it would be "completely
unacceptable" if the government was involved (3.16pm). The Egyptian
interior ministry has denied any involvement but has made no attempt to
intervene in the clashes.•Mohamed ElBaradei has urged the army to intervene to stop the violence in Cairo
(3.24pm). He told the Guardian the determination not to negotiate with
the Mubarak regime had been strengthened by today's events and people
now want to see the Egyptian leader put on trial (5.52pm). •Pro-Mubarak protesters have also taken to the streets in Alexandria but so far there have not been the violent scenes seen in Cairo. (5.30pm)• Ahead of a planned protest in Yemen, president Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he won't seek re-election in 2013. Analysts say he is up to his old tricks. (9.31am)
5.52pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-74 Egyptian state TV is warning people to evacuate the square.
5.49pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-73
The Egyptian health ministry is saying one person has been killed in
Tahrir Square today and 403 injured. That could prove to be conservative
but lets hope not.
5.42pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-72
Jack Shenker has interviewed Mohamed ElBaradei, who has said he is not
prepared to negotiate with "killers" but there is "no going back" for
the pro-democracy movement. Here's a taste of what he said, there will
be more in tomorrow's newpaper:<blockquote>After today, people
are realising just what they're dealing with. Now they're not just
talking about the man responsible leaving the country, they're also
talking about putting him on trial. If he has an iota of dignity left,
he should leave. Mubarak has received a vote of no confidence by the
entire Egyptian people.Our determination not to hold negotiations
with the government until Mubarak leaves has only been strengthened
today. First of all this is not a negotiation – we the people have
legitimate demands and we would like to tell the government what to do.
Our freedom is not up for negotiation. Secondly how can you negotiate
with a regime that is killing its people? When I see some of the
young people heading on to the streets and then corpses coming back the
other way, it makes you cringe that this could be a state [sic]...I will
be encouraging people campaigning for change to return to the streets,
and I think Friday will be a very big day in that respect. But even if
they don't, even if they are repressed and crushed, there is still no
going back.</blockquote>
5.32pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-71
The military in Tahrir is now, belatedly, trying to enforce the curfew,
according to al-Jazeera, telling people to go inside and take cover.
5.30pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-70 Harriet Sherwood has sent an update from Alexandria, which thankfully so far not witnessed the violence seen in Cairo today:<blockquote>Alexandria
has today seen a fightback by supporters of the regime, challenging the
protests of the anti-Mubarak camp. There were very ugly scenes in the
square where the protests have been taking place all day until
mid-afternoon when the anti-Mubarak protesters marched down the
Corniche. Several times I thought I was about to witness bloodshed, but
somehow the guys trying to keep the two sides apart managed to literally
bundle the protagonists apart. Since then there have been rival groups
marauding around Alexandria. It's now well after dark, and too dangerous
to go out alone. But - so far - it's been threatening and ugly but
nothing on the scale of civil war that seems to be erupting in central
Cairo. People here are now extremely fearful and anxious; no one knows
what the coming days will bring.</blockquote>
5.16pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-69
To clarify the situation with the lights in Tahrir Square (see 4.49pm).
The main lights in the square have been turned off - street lights are
still on but it's normally illuminated by much larger lights as it's a
transport hub and they are out now.
5.11pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-68
We've recieved a couple of very enlightening first person accounts of
today's events that I would urge you to read. Thank you to both
contributors.The first is an anonymous account sent by email:<blockquote>They
came into the square and we blocked them peacefully, forming a human
line and peacefully pushing them back . A number of thugs had
infiltrated behind our human line and all of a sudden 70 people from
behind us started running towards us from behind the line and started
throwing rocks and stones and picking up pieces of wood from their side.
This was the signal for other 'Pro-Mubarak' side to start reponding by
throwing rocks. Our people retreated, they came forward - the point of
stopping was where the army tanks were [next to the Egyptian Museum] and
as we came forward people started throwing stones at us from the side
of those tanks. This is significant because the only way you can get
there is with the permission of the army.
Stone throwing was
happening - then suddenly someone gets up on the tank shouting "People,
stop stop stop, we can't behave like this! ' - and immediately another
guy comes straight up holding a picture of Mubarak and the tank is
swarmed with Mubarak supporters as if they're trying to stop violence!
That was clearly a photo op. Once that photo opportunity had happened
the 'Mubarak Protesters' got down from top of the tanks all of a sudden.
Suddenly a whole load of camels and horses with people on top of them
with whips came through the entrance right by the tanks. It was so
clearly orchestrated that some of the young guys from the army were
breaking ranks because they were so
disillusioned and didn't want to be part of this bullshit. We managed to pull people off
camels, and they all went back and it all returned to a vague normality and calmed down.</blockquote>And this is from the comments section, from marwaa:<blockquote class="quoted">The
first act of violence I saw was a family crossing street into Tahrir
Square and a car passed by with a group of women and suddently they got
out of the car and started cursing, intimidating and throwing stones as
they ran after the family harassing them and other people. We started
creating human chain around the square and inside the square we were
putting signs calling it "Shuhada Square" (Martyr Square) to remember
the 300 people who died so far. Peace was maintained inside the square.
We decided to take a break and go home. As we are walking away from the
square, suddenly I see pro Mubarak protesters on horses and camels
riding down from Talaat Harb Square toward us, cursing me and my
husband. They had whips and all kinds of weapons on them. I called to
check on my friends who'd stayed in Tahrir Square and they began to
shout that they are being beaten – my friend described to me what she
was seeing: a 7-year-old-boy was wounded by stones thrown at him by the
pro Mubarak campaigners. The anti Mubarak camp kept chanting: Peaceful.
Peaceful. Peaceful but the pro camp kept pushing in and they had all
kinds of weapons on them and the stone throwing fight began. In the
meantime, all they have on national TV is a broadcast of peaceful
protesters chanting pro-mubarak [slogans] and callers calling in blaming
everything on the anti-Mubarak protests and saying that they deserve
whatever happens to them because they didn't stop.</blockquote>
4.56pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-67 We mentioned the New York Times Pulitzer prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof earlier today (2.52pm). He has now blogged on what he saw in Tahrir:<blockquote>In
my area of Tahrir, the thugs were armed with machetes, straight razors,
clubs and stones. And they all had the same chants, the same slogans
and the same hostility to journalists. They clearly had been organized
and briefed. So the idea that this is some spontaneous outpouring of
pro-Mubarak supporters, both in Cairo and in Alexandria, who happen to
end up clashing with other side — that is preposterous. It's difficult
to know what is happening, and I'm only one observer, but to me these
seem to be organized thugs sent in to crack heads, chase out
journalists, intimidate the pro-democracy forces and perhaps create a
pretext for an even harsher crackdown.</blockquote>
4.54pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-66 Two Molotov cocktails have been thrown into the grounds of the Egyptian Museum, it is being reported
4.49pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-65 There are ominous reports that the lights have been turned off, prompting fears of what the government has planned.@RamyYaacoub<blockquote>Lights off in #Tahrir square. God help us all #Jan25 #Cairo #Egypt</blockquote>I should add that, from the TV pictures, it looks like at least some lights are on.
4.43pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-64 I've just spoken to Karim Ennarah, a pro-democracy protester in Tahrir Square (apologies for the quality of the line). He says the protesters opposed to Mubarak are still in control of the square but it is an "ugly and messy scene".<blockquote class="quoted">Both
groups are pelting each other with rocks, it's extremely violent
here...people are unsure about the army position...I don't see this
coming to an end, it's been going on for hours now. There are hundreds
of people injured, literally hundreds of people.</blockquote>
4.26pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-63 Some recent tweets on the continuing violence, from Cairo:@Ssirgany<blockquote>Until
last night, Tahrir was the safest place in Egypt, with pro-change
protesters staying there for 8 days. Now Mubarak people go in & WAR</blockquote>@sandmonkey<blockquote>The egyptian state TV are on a different universe, showing pictures of pro-Mubarak protesters all over egypt. #jan25</blockquote>@bencnn<blockquote>All indications are that what is happening in Tahrir Square is government-sanctioned. #Jan25 #Egypt</blockquote>
4.11pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-62 US state department spokesman PJ Crowley has infuriated people with his appeal for "all sides in #Egypt to show restraint and avoid violence". Here is just a sample of the reaction on Twitter:@draddee<blockquote>Did
@PJCrowley really call on all sides to stop the violence?? All
sides!!!!!!!?? Is the USG watching Egyptian State TV's coverage today?</blockquote>@AfriNomad<blockquote>Dear @PJCrowley, You are a coward. Dear #SecClinton, You are a coward. @BarackObama this is your Rwanda moment #Jan25 #Egypt</blockquote>
@weddady<blockquote>If u support the ppl of #Egypt and want Hosni Mubarak out pls tell the state dept @PJCrowley to stop their idiotic statements</blockquote>
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Egypt protests - live updates Empty
PostSubject: Re: Egypt protests - live updates   Egypt protests - live updates EmptyWed Feb 02, 2011 11:26 pm

@Salma_Tweets<blockquote>@pjcrowley,@barakobama,@statedepartment
what are you doing to help us, we're being killed by Mubarak in Tahrir,
long live US Freedom!!!!!</blockquote>
3.51pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-61 Al-Jazeera's reporter can see other emergency vehicles heading to Tahrir Square now; sirens are audible over TV coverage.
3.48pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-60 The White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has put out this statement:<blockquote class="quoted">The
United States deplores and condemns the violence that is taking place
in Egypt, and we are deeply concerned about attacks on the media and
peaceful demonstrators. We repeat our strong call for restraint.</blockquote>It's worth noting again that the US has not come out strongly calling for Hosni Mubarak to go.
3.46pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-59 Al-Jazeera is reporting that an emergency vehicle is trying to get into Tahrir Square. The UN fears that 300 people have been killed and 500 more injured to date.
3.45pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-58 US state department spokesman PJ Crowley has called on all sides to avoid violence. On Twitter, Crowley wrote:<blockquote>We
reiterate our call for all sides in Egypt to show restraint and avoid
violence. Egypt's path to democratic change must be peaceful.</blockquote>
3.42pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-57 Al-Jazeera just showed some kind of burning object being thrown from a building into the crowd in central Cairo.
3.39pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-56 Al-Jazeera is showing smoke rising from a building in the centre of Cairo.Reuters is reporting that the Egyptian army has denied firing any shots at protesters in Tahrir Square. <blockquote class="quoted">"The
army denies firing any shots on the protesters," according to a
statement from the defence ministry, read to Reuters by a ministry
source. It added that some smoke canisters were fired near the US
embassy to disperse crowds.The US embassy in Cairo is close to
Tahrir Square. "No one in the army participated in the protest," the
source said, denying some reports that those involved included soldiers.An
al-Jazeera correspondent earlier said the army had fired shots in the
air. A Reuters witness said they heard shots fired, but it was not
immediately clear where the shots came from.</blockquote>
3.36pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-55
PJ Crowley, a spokesman for the US state department, has criticised
Hosni Mubarak's government regarding detentions and freedom of the press
– although he did not discuss the violence taking place in Cairo.
Crowley said on Twitter that the US was "concerned about detentions and
attacks on news media in Egypt. The civil society that Egypt wants to
build includes a free press."
3.31pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-54
Al-Jazeera is now reporting pro-Mubarak supporters dropping concrete
blocks off the roofs of buildings on to protesters. I can't confirm
that. One of the channel's correspondents asked some pro-Mubarak
demonstrators why they waited until today to come out on to the streets.
He says they said: "Yesterday we weren't happy seeing our leader
broken on screen," referring to Mubarak's televised address announcing
he would not seek a further term as president.
3.29pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-53
The Associated Press news agency has been speaking to pro-Mubarak
protesters gathering "on an upscale Cairo boulevard" for a
counter-demonstration.<blockquote class="quoted">The mood was
angry and defiant but the protest was mostly peaceful, in contrast to
the scene in Cairo's main square, where hundreds of young pro-government
supporters attacked crowds of thousands demanding his ouster.On
the boulevard in the upper-class neighbourhood of Mohandiseen, men in
designer sunglasses and women with expensive hairdos joined government
employees, including a few dozen nurses in white dresses and stockings
who jumped and chanted, "We love you Mubarak!"In dozens of
interviews, they expressed fears of chaos and violence engulfing the
country. They said they feared for Egypt's plummeting currency and the
shortages of food and gasoline gripping the country's major cities.They
identified themselves as middle- and working-class people whose lives
had improved under Mubarak, whom praised for keeping the country at
peace after a series of wars with Israel.Many said they felt
personally humiliated by the jeers of anti-Mubarak demonstrators for the
Egyptian leader to leave the country. They called Egypt a deeply
patriarchal society where the leader is seen as a father-like figure,
and a symbol of the nation itself."We have been a stable country
since the days of the Pharoahs. These demonstrators want to turn us into
Somalia: poor and at war with itself," cried Samir Hamid, a 58-year-old
war veteran who said his age made him remember life in Egypt Mubarak
took power nearly 30 years ago.Many said they did not necessarily
support the Egyptian president, but said the anti-Mubarak demonstrators
should have been satisfied by his Tuesday night pledge to step down
from power in seven months, after the country holds elections."It's
not like Mubarak can rub Aladdin's lamp and pull out a genie who will
fix everything," said Fatima al-Shal, 41, who wore a heavily bejeweled
ring on each hand. "We have to give them time to peacefully change
power," she said."I feel humiliated," said Mohammed Hussein, a
31-year-old factory worker. "He is the symbol of our country. When he is
insulted, I am insulted."</blockquote>


3.28pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-52 My colleagues on the video desk have sent this video of the clashes in Cairo.
3.24pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-51 Mohamed ElBaradei, the leading opposition figure, has called on the army to intervene and prevent bloodshed.
3.21pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-50 The military is refusing to get involved in the clashes between pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters, al-Jazeera is reporting.
3.17pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-49
Mohamed ElBaradei, the leading opposition figurehead and former head of
the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, has told al-Jazeera he
hopes Hosni Mubarak, the president, will leave office before Friday,
when protesters are planning the "Friday of departure". More from his
interview when we get it.
3.16pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-48
Some more from David Cameron (left), who has said that it would be
unacceptable for the Egyptian government to be supporting violence in
any way:<blockquote class="quoted">If it turns out that the regime in any way has sponsored or tolerated this violence, that is completely unacceptable.</blockquote>
3.13pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-47 A comment from YShawkat below the line:<blockquote>I've
seen pro-Mubarak thugs out on the streets today in a violent attempt to
disperse peaceful pro-deomocracy protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo,
as I walked with my wife on October bridge.The corrupt regime has managed to turn part of its people on each other as, mostly through instilling fear and panic.We, the Egyptian people, must realise we are all on the same side.</blockquote>
3.10pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-46 Below the line, the Guardian's Middle East expert Brian Whitaker has responded to some of your comments.Snickid asked:<blockquote>What
is probably needed now is some very senior army officers to come out in
support of the revolution. Does anyone know enough about how the
Egyptian army is organised - esp. how politicised it is - to say whether
this is possible or likely?</blockquote>Brian Whitaker responded:
<blockquote>The
role of an army is to protect the state, not the regime or the
revolution. Anything else is an interference in the sovereignty of the
people.</blockquote>Readers are also asking whether Hosni
Mubarak's speech last night and his announcement that he wouldn't run
again is binding or a ploy to disperse tensions and get protesters off
the streets.Brian responded:<blockquote>These guys are
tricky and not to be trusted. Of course the aim is to get the
anti-Mubarak protesters off the streets. Once they have done that, they
will drag their feet as much as possible on the question of reform.</blockquote>
3.07pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-45
My colleague Jack Shenker emails with confirmation that the explosions
he has been hearing in Tahrir Square are warning shots being fired into
the air by the army, at a military checkpoint at the Talaat Harb
entrance to the square. Jack writes:<blockquote class="quoted">The
situation is looking very serious - the road between Abdel Munim Riyad
Square and Tahrir Square is now a war zone, with a debris-strewn no
man's land in between. Behind the front lines of the pro-Mubarak
stone-throwers is a crowd several thousand strong in Abdel Munim Riyad,
and although some of them seem peaceful many others are breaking apart
burnt-out police trucks to obtain metal rods. On the anti-Mubarak side
of the battle in Tahrir, demonstrators fear they are being slowly
encircled, with pro-Mubarak young men stealing through the downtown
backstreets to approach Tahrir from different entrances.I've just
run into grown men crying at the chaos and bloodshed on their streets:
"When we were fighting the central security forces last Friday it felt
liberating," one told me, "yet we know we are fighting each other and
that breaks my heart." Reports are streaming on of there being
government-employed thugs and ex-prisoners among the pro-Mubarak crowd,
alongside plainclothes policemen - though it would be misleading to
suggest that these are the only people making up that side of these
increasingly-violent rival demonstrations.</blockquote>
3.06pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-44
David Cameron, the prime minister, and Ban Ki-Moon, the UN
secretary-general, have appeared in Downing Street to condemn the
violence and call for urgent change.Cameron said: <blockquote class="quoted">These
are despicable scenes that are we are seeing and they should not be
repeated. They are underline the need for political reform and frankly
for that political reform to be accelerated. </blockquote>Ban said: <blockquote class="quoted">This
is an unacceptable situation. Any attack on peaceful demonstrators in
unacceptable and I condemn it. It is important at this junction to
ensure that an orderly and peaceful transition should take place. I urge
all the parties to engage in a such a process without further delay.</blockquote>
3.04pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-43
It's just gone 5pm in Cairo and tonight's curfew is supposed to begin.
But clashes are continuing between pro- and anti-government supporters
in the centre of the city. Al-Jazeera has just been showing pictures of
people throwing rocks and chairs off the roof of a building. You can watch their live stream from Cairo here.
2.52pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-42 New York Times Pulitzer prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof tweets that menacing pro-Mubarak mobs have arrived in buses.
2.49pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-41 There are lots of people saying the army is simply watching as the violence unfolds around them:@ashrafkhalil<blockquote>#jan25
I saw at least a dozen guys coming back badly bloodied from front line.
Incredibly violent scene and the soldiers are just watching</blockquote>@TravellerW<blockquote>I saw an army checkpoint searching barely 5% of a pro-Mub group then waving them all through #egypt #jan25</blockquote>Tear gas is now being fired, it is not clear who is firing it.
2.43pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-40
Abdel Halim Qandil, from the opposition Kefaya party, echoed the claims
that it is Mubarak's security services who are responsible for the
unrest. He told al-Jazeera.<blockquote class="quoted">There are
no Mubarak protesters. They are thugs, security personnel, dressed as
civilians. What is happening in Tahrir Square now is a crime perpetrated
by the Mubarak regime. It is another crime perpetrated by him...he must
be held accountable.....we cannot stop until we see this murderous
regime step down. </blockquote>
2.33pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-39
An al-Jazeera correspondent estimates he has seen around 100 people
carried away from Tahrir Square, with the most seriously injured an
unconscious boy, no more than 8-years-old, who was being carried on the
back of a man.A crying female protester told the station that
pro-democracy protesters were being prevented from leaving the square
and urged people not to credit the pro-Mubarak supporters with the
description "protesters".
2.29pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-38 Pro-Mubarak supporters are recognizably police, says Peter Beaumont. <blockquote class="quoted">There
is no question in my mind that they police, they are central security
forces. These are the same guys that were out in force all last week and
they have filtered back in again. They are very very recognisable, they
are certain kind of people. </blockquote>At that point the line cut out.
2.25pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-37
Three army trucks have been seized by pro-Mubarak supporters and are
now using them as a barricade to attack pro-democracy campaigners. Al
Jazeera reported that the trucks were seized without any resistance from
the army, which is not making its presence felt at all.
2.10pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-36
Very ominous information coming out of Cairo, with reports of gunfire.
Al Jazeera suggests they might be warning shots to keep people away from
the museum, which is being defended by a number of military vehicles.@BloggerSeif<blockquote>Gunshots from behind me somewhere #Jan25 </blockquote>
2.00pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-35
The Egyptian interior ministry is denying charges by anti-government
protesters that plainclothes police have been involved in the violence, Channel 4 News reports.
1.53pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-34 Mohamed ElBaradei has told BBC Arabic the clashes in Tahrir Square are a "criminal act done by a criminal regime".
1.49pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-33
In the clashes at and near Tahrir Square people are literally grabbing
anything at hand, rocks, sticks to hurl at their opponents. Anti-government
protesters have shown al-Jazeera the ID cards of plain clothed security
police they say they seized from attackers.
1.33pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-32 The CNN reporter, Anderson Cooper, has reportedly been attacked by pro-Mubarak posters.
Egypt protests - live updates Twitter

George Hale, English editor of the Maan News Agency, tweeted:<blockquote>Anderson Cooper punched 10 times in the head as pro-Mubarak mob surrounds him and his crew at Cairo rally - CNN manager</blockquote>
1.24pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-31 Mubarak supporters came in on camels and horses, according to AP.<blockquote>Several
thousand supporters of President Hosni Mubarak, including some riding
horses and camels and wielding whips, attacked anti-government
protesters today as Egypt's upheaval took a dangerous new turn.In chaotic scenes, the two sides pelted each other with stones, and protesters dragged attackers off their horses.The
turmoil was the first significant violence between supporters of the
two camps in more than a week of anti-government protests. It erupted
after Mubarak went on national television the night before and rejected
demands he step down immediately and said he would serve out the
remaining seven months of his term.In the early afternoon around
3,000 Mubarak supporters break through a human chain of anti-government
protesters trying to defend thousands gathered in Tahrir.Chaos
erupted as they tore down banners denouncing the president. Fistfights
broke out as they advanced across the massive square in the heart of the
capital. The anti-government protesters grabbed Mubarak posters from
the hands of the supporters and ripped them.The two sides began
hurling stones and bottles and sticks at each other, chasing each other
as the protesters' human chains moved back to try to shield the larger
mass of demonstrators at the plaza's centre.At one point, a small
contingent of pro-Mubarak forces on horseback and camels rushed into
the anti-Mubarak crowds, swinging whips and sticks to beat people.
Protesters retaliated, dragging some from their mounts, throwing them to
the ground and beating their faces bloody.Protesters were seen
running with their shirts or faces bloodied, some men and women in the
crowd were weeping. A scent of tear gas wafted over the area, but it was
not clear who had fired it.The army troops who have been
guarding the square had been keeping the two sides apart earlier in the
day, but when the clashes erupted they did not intervene. Most took
shelter behind or inside the armored vehicles and tanks stationed at the
entrances to Tahrir.</blockquote>
1.23pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-30
Spain's Cadena SER radio station's reporters in Cairo are reporting
that their car has been surrounded and attacked by pro-Mubarak thugs and
they have had to take refuge in a building protected by the army,
writes Giles Tremlett in Madrid.
1.11pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-29 Anti-Murbarak supporters are holding their ground in Tahrir Square, Jack Shenker reports, as "very injured people" are carried to safety.Anti-Mubarak
protesters have seized a pro-Mubarak supporter, he says. "So far we are
not seeing any lynchings because a number of responsible citizens are
shepherding them [pro-Mubarak supporters] to an army checkpoint," he
says.
12.59pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-28 The writer Ahdaf Soueif emails to express concern.<blockquote class="quoted">This
is urgent news: the Mubarak thugs are now suddenly out in force. I say
'thugs' because their behaviour immediately is radically different from
everything we have seen in the last week. They are in microbuses
and trucks and are keeping up a deafening wall of sound with their
claxons. They are armed with sticks and various bits of weaponry and are
waving them and shouting and honking their horns. They carry large
well-made banners - replicas of the banners that are used in the rigged
elections, proclaiming for Mubarak.

In Tahrir Square, the army
has pulled its positions well back into the square instead of at the
peripheries and have stopped guarding the entrances to the square. The
army s no longer checking the IDs of those who enter the square nor are
they checking them for weapons. A few minutes ago the Mubarak
"supportrs" started attacking our press area in the square where
activists have been collecting photo and video evidence of people who
have been tortured under the Mubarak regime. As I write this the
activists are being attacked with stones and sticks.</blockquote>
12.49pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-27 "It's all kicked off and it's getting very ugly,"
Jack Shenker reports from a side street off Tahrir square. Some of
those involved in the violence have been dragged away by the army, he
says. "People continue to run away from the square. Many of them
have got blood wounds. I could saw one man just brush past me carrying a
child ... there appeared to blood on his chest," Jack said. One pro-Mubarak supporter yelled "liars and Jews" at journalists.
12.42pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-26
"I've seem one guy with pole with a knife attached to it. It's quite
clear some of these people came prepared for a violent confrontation,"
Peter Beaumont reports.
12.19pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-25
"There is a fight of some kind of going on right in front of me. I'm
assuming that it's pro and anti Mubarak supporters," Peter Beaumont
reports from Tahrir Square.The security services are just sitting
on their tanks watching, he says. "You can't help feeling that it has
all been heavily coordinated," he says. "It's an extraordinary turnaround."
12.10pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-24 Tahrir Square is changing hands, according to Peter Beaumont. "Thousands and thousands of pro-Murabak demonstrators are now pouring into the square," he says."It seems to have been heavily choreographed," Peter says.
12.04pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-23 Speaking at prime ministers questions David Cameron said: <blockquote>You can't watch the scenes in Cairo without finding them incredibly moving.</blockquote>There's more on our politics live blog.
11.55am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-22 Time for a lunchtime summary:• Thousands of pro-Mubarak supporters are taking part in rallies in Cairo and Alexandria. Some
of those protesting yesterday are satisfied that the Egyptian president
has offered enough concessions, and have switched sides. Others
continue to call for Hosni Mubarak to go now.• The Egyptian military is calling for an end to the protests.
"Your message has arrived, your demands became known ... You are
capable of bringing normal life to Egypt," a military spokesman said.• Some signs of normality have returned to Egypt. Internet restrictions have been lifted, al-Jazeera is available again, and the curfew has been eased.• Ahead of a planned protest in Yemen, president Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he won't seek re-election in 2013. Analysts say he is up to his old tricks. • The families of those arrested in the protests are demanding answers from the military. Around 150 people gathered outside the army HQ in Alexandria where it is thought the missing are being detained.
11.54am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-21 David Cameron has echoed Barack Obama's call for an "orderly transition" to "begin immediately".The prime minister's spokesman said: <blockquote class="quoted">Our
position has been to repeatedly call for an orderly transition. Our
view is also that the process of change needs to begin immediately.</blockquote>
11.40am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-20
We have set up a phone line for those protesting in Egypt to call in
with their accounts of the demonstrations. Tarek Nagar, an architect in
Cairo, phoned in to leave his views on Hosni Mubarak's speech yesterday.
He said Mubarak's decision not to run for another term would not wash
with the protesters:<blockquote class="quoted">He's a dictator
who's not willing to let go of his own power, he's behaving in a very
irresponsible way because he's actually agitating the young people who
have been demonstrating, protesting peacefully. They have been attacked
by his own brutal security forces and he should have admitted his
complete responsibility for the mistakes of the last week or so.
On the other hand the minimum demand that everyone is requesting or
asking for is for him to dissolve the parliament to form a committee for
a new constitution, immediately abolishing the emergency law and above
all for his own resignation immediately. We are demanding and the young
people and the youth in the square that a new transitional national
government will take over.</blockquote> You can hear the whole thing below. The number is +44 203 353 2959 if anyone else wants to call.
11.30am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-19
The families of those arrested in the protests are demanding answers
about their loved ones at an army headquarters in Alexandria where they
are being detained, writes Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for
Human Rights Watch.<blockquote class="quoted">About 150 angry
relatives are gathered outside the army HQ in Alexandria, desperate for
information about their missing relatives. The army has not produced any
lists of those they have detained, and have not allowed anyone into the
base to visit the detainees. We tried to gain access, but were refused.
One old woman told me she had been there since Saturday, looking for
her son, and had no news. The relatives are very concerned about the
treatment the detainees are receiving.As we were there, a group
of female relatives of the detained started a protest, shouting 'We want
our children, give us back our children!'The situation is very
tense. The army has used the HQ as a detention centre for all of the
suspected looters and other troublemakers handed over to them by the
neighbourhood security committees since Friday. This is an unfamiliar
role for the army, and they are clearly at a loss as to what to do. Many
of the detainees are probably innocent, just caught in the wrong
neighbourhood without identification.The army is in a difficult
position, as it has no evidence of wrongdoing by most of the detainees
and no judicial system to process or release them. But they are the only
functioning security institution.At the very least, the army
should publish a complete list of the detainees and allow lawyers to
visit them and ensure they are properly treated. And they should release
the innocent as soon as possible. </blockquote>
11.15am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-18
As the internet is back in Egypt, if you're an Arabic speaker you may
find this blog easier to follow using this (automatic) translation
button.
تحديد اللغةالعربية
تدعمه Egypt protests - live updates Mini_googleترجمة



It doesn't translate photos of placards, though.
11.12am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-16 Pro-Mubarak supporters claim if there are one million against Mubarak there are 80 million backing him, al-Jazeera reports. It is showing live pictures of several thousands of the regime's supporters at a rally in Cairo.
10.55am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-15 Al-Jazeera appears to be available again in Egypt. The channel is no longer showing constant coverage of the unrest. Egyptian blogger Zeinobia, tweets: <blockquote>I am currently watching Al Jazeera on Noor Business Channel on Nile Sat</blockquote>
10.53am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-14 Cairo blogger Sandmonkey is frustrated by the support for Mubarak among some:
10.49am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-13 Another sign of a return to normality - the curfew is to be relaxed, according to CNN's Ben Wedeman.<blockquote>Curfew to be eased, now 5pm-7am, was 3pm-8am</blockquote>
10.36am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-12 Some of the pro-Mubarak supporters have been bussed-in, but others have switched sides, Peter Beaumont reports."I've
just been talking to two guys who were with the demonstrators in Tahrir
square, and they have changed sides. What they are saying is 'Mubarak
has made all the concessions that people are asking for, therefore we
should give him time."There are certainly people who now, after
eight days of demonstrations, are sufficiently concerned to have come
over to the pro-Mubarak camp. "They are chanting Baradei, Baradei get out."
10.22am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-11 Egyptian bloggers are celebrating, and coming to terms with, getting back online.Zeinobia founder of the popular Egyptian Chronicles writes this short post:<blockquote class="quoted">I am back, in fact Egypt is back online.What shall I say, what can I say !!?? Egypt is back online Smile Wait for more updates, daily journals for the past days, photos and videos are coming in the way.</blockquote>
Wael Abbas tweets the downside: <blockquote>shit i have 4043 emails waiting in my inbox</blockquote>
10.16am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-10 The Egyptian military is calling for an end to more than a
week of demonstrations, AP reports.<blockquote>
A
military spokesman says: "Your message has arrived, your demands became
known ... you are capable of bringing normal life to Egypt."Internet service is also returning to Egypt after days of an unprecedented cut-off by the government.</blockquote>
10.09am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-9 "It's window dressing"
protester Ayman Farag says of Mubarak's concessions. Speaking from
Tahrir square Farag, a 32-year-old journalist, describes splits among
the protesters about what to do next and a change in the mood since
Mubarak's statement. "There are divisions, that's the fear,
numbers are going to go down," he said. "People are going to say 'we
have achieved something - Gamal Mubarak won't succeed the throne and
Hosni is definitely going'. Unfortunately that's not enough because we
can't trust this regime, this president. It's all window dressing."
9.40am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-8 "Mubarak, Mubarak, we love you" the president's supporters chant at an angry demo outside a TV station, Peter Beaumont reports."For
the last hour or so there has been an increasingly angry demonstrations
by pro Mubarak supporters, more of whom are arriving all of the time.
They are carrying a policeman on their shoulders and are chanting things
like 'Mubarak, Mubarak we love you' and 'al-Jazeera where are you
now?'" Peter says.He says up to 7,000 people involved, amid concerns that they may clash with anti-government protesters later.
9.31am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-7 Yememi president Ali Abdullah Saleh's announcement that he won't be standing for re-election is "a canny move" ahead of a "day of rage", Tom Finn from the Yemen Times tells me."Saleh
is famous for doing these stunts where he tells people he will stand
down in order to provoke a reaction for people to say 'no we want you to
stay', at which point he says 'if you insists I'll stay'. But people
are saying this time it could be different because the opposition have
been strengthened by the what's being happened in Tunisia and Egypt.
Saleh has been forced to give a lot of concessions in the last week."
8.53am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-6 "Thousands" of people have been involved in a number of pro-Mubarak rallies, according to AP.<blockquote>The
small rallies appeared to be the start of an attempt by Mubarak's 3
million-member National Democratic Party to retake momentum from
protesters demanding Egypt's nearly 30-year ruler step down immediately.The
army separated about 20 Mubarak supporters from about 1,000
pro-democracy protesters in Tahrir Square, but the Mediterranean city of
Alexandria saw clashes erupt between several hundred protesters and
government supporters early today, Al-Jazeera television footage showed.Several
thousand people outside Mustafa Mahmoud Mosque in the upper-class
neighbourhood of Mohandiseen waved Egyptian flags and carried a large
printed banner with Mubarak's face. Many passing cars honked in apparent
support.Police officers surrounded the area and directed traffic.</blockquote>
8.47am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-5
300 pro-Mubarak protesters have gathered outside the offices of ABC
News in Cairo, according to a Twitter update from its reporter Lara
Setrakian.<blockquote>Around 300 people at the pro-Mubarak rally downstairs, chanting 'mish yamshee' - he won't go </blockquote><blockquote>ABC
Biggest threat of violence comes from clashes between pro-Mubarak &
anti-Mubarak crowds. One rally FOR Mubarak outside our bureau now
#Jan25</blockquote>
8.29am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-4 Mubarak supporters have clashed with protesters in Tahrir Square, al-Jazeera reports. There have been several scuffles in the last few hours, its reporter in the square said.

Protesters have linked hands around the square to "self-police" it, she said. Overnight
TV footage showed pro-Mubarak supporters clashing with protesters in
the port city of Alexandria. My colleague Harriet Sherwood, who is in
the city, has been told that 12 people were injured in the violence.You can read Harriet's Twitter updates, and those of other correspondents in Egypt, on the righthand side of the blog.
8.03am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-3 Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has done a Mubarak, by saying he won't seek to extend his presidency.Eyeing
protests that brought down Tunisia's leader and threaten to topple
Egypt's president, Saleh also vowed not to pass on the reins of
government to his son, Reuters reports."No extension, no
inheritance, no resetting the clock," Saleh said, speaking ahead of a
planned rally in Sanaa today that has been dubbed a "Day of rage".
7.49am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-2
What's going on Egypt is "incredible exciting", according to deputy
prime minister Nick Clegg, who still hasn't mastered the language of
international diplomacy."It is incredibly exciting what is going
on, it reminds me so much of the time when the Berlin Wall fell, the
power of the people out on the streets, in a regime which two weeks ago
everybody thought was one of the most stable regimes in the region," he
told ITV's Daybreak.He then seem to remember he was deputy prime
minister, adding: "I don't think it is really for me or anybody else to
start dictating exactly when the transition should take place but
clearly it is already taking place, and that holds out at least the
exciting prospect of real democracy and real freedom and openness in
Egypt for the first time ever."
7.45am:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-1 Hosni Mubarak's decision to tough it out for now has been greeted by rage from protesters and international calls for more immediate change.Egypt's
key ally Turkey today urged Mubarak to heed protesters calls. Prime
minister Tayyip Erdogan said Mubarak should take a different step. Last
night Barack Obama said "change must begin now". Opposition
leader Mohamed ElBaradei said Mubarak's speech was an act of
"deception". Speaking to CNN he said Mubarak was a "dead man walking"
and "a person who doesn't want to let go, a dictator who doesn't want to
listen to the clear voice of the people."As the Egyptian president announced that he would stay on until September protesters exploded in anger in Tahrir Square last night. A screen rigged up to show al-Jazeera was pelted with bottles and the cry "Irhal, irhal" went up repeatedly: "Leave, leave."In Alexandria, however, following Mubarak's broadcast his supporters clashed with protesters occupying the main square.
Sticks were brandished and rocks thrown. Bursts of gunfire were heard,
thought to have been soldiers shooting into the air in an attempt to
separate the two factions. In his defiant TV address Mubarak said he would die on Egyptian soil (read the full text here).The regime is still very much in power, the Guardian's foreign affairs columnist Simon Tisdall explains.<blockquote class="quoted">After
a week in the headlights, the regime is showing signs of regaining its
nerve and assembling a strategy to overcome its perilous predicament.
Whether it can work is another matter.The survival plan centres
on Omar Suleiman, who is head of intelligence, Mubarak's close
confidant, and the newly installed vice-president. Right now Suleiman is
the most powerful man in Egypt, backed by the military (from which he
hails), the security apparatus, and a frightened ruling elite hoping to
salvage something from the wreckage.Suleiman is, in effect,
heading a junta of former or acting military officers. Mubarak has been
reduced to a figurehead, sheltering behind this clique. But they will
not humiliate him. There will be no ignominious flight to Saudi Arabia,
like that of Tunisia's deposed president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.Mubarak's
fate aside, the regime may also be hoping that recent lawlessness and
looting will convince people, particularly Cairo's middle-class, that
revolution is too risky and that the protesters have made their point.
Likewise, rising food and fuel prices, shortages, lost earnings, closed
businesses, falling exports and reduced tourism caused by the unrest
will have a growing impact on working people if they persist with street
action.</blockquote>Not everyone is calling for Mubarak to stand down now. Speaking to CNN Tony Blair described him as "immensely courageous and a force for good".
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