Unrest in Egypt: President Mubarak dissolves Cabinet after night of protests
Many Egyptians defied a government curfew Friday night and faced stinging police tear gas as they marched for change.
January 28th, 2011
07:40 PM ET

Unrest in Egypt: President Mubarak dissolves Cabinet after night of protests

Read full coverage of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Egypt's major cities on Friday, prompting the government to deploy the army to keep the peace for the first time since unrest began Tuesday. Protesters are demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-rule. Here are the latest developments as confirmed by CNN.

[Updated 7:40 p.m. (0240 in Egypt)] A senior U.S. State Department official said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak "was not particularly forthcoming" in his speech early Saturday. "Our initial impression is that he emphasized security far more than reform," said the official, who wasn't authorized to speak on the record.

A senior Muslim Brotherhood leader echoed those sentiments in an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, saying that Mubarak has to step down and the military should intervene, according to Al Jazeera.

[Updated 6:40 p.m. (0140 in Egypt)] U.S. President Barack Obama called on Egyptian authorities Friday to refrain from violence and to reverse any actions they have taken to limit access to the internet in the wake of protests there.

Obama said he spoke to the Egyptian president after he announced plans to dissolve his government and take steps with a new cabinet to implement reforms that will revitalize the economy and create more jobs.

"I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise."

[Updated 6:15 p.m. (0115 in Egypt)] President Mubarak's announcement that he was going to dissolve the government Saturday did not sit well with some protesters.

"Mubarak just blamed the government. We will continue our demonstrations until we get our full demands. We want him to leave. His time is over," said Ahmed, a 19-year-old law student demonstrator in Central Alexandria's Raml Square.

"We are one of the richest Arab countries and we want to live. Let a new government form but if we don't get what we ask for, we will go back to the streets again and again," said Mohammed, a 20- year-old student.

[Updated 5:45 p.m. (0045 in Egypt)] Protesters in the streets of Cairo are calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, chanting in unison "we don't want him." The people in the streets represent all walks of life, from young people to families with children, CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports.

[Updated 5:31 p.m. (0031 in Egypt)] Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he has asked the government to resign so he can appoint a new government Saturday. He gave no indication that he would step down or leave the country.

[Updated 5:27 p.m. (0027 in Egypt)] President Hosni Mubarak said he is "on the side of the people" and vowed to take steps to guarantee the rights and freedom of Egyptians, develop job opportunities and to "stand by the poor."

He said early Saturday he sees a fine line "between freedom and chaos" and that he would work to secure both freedom and security in Egypt.

I assure you that I'm working for the people and giving freedoms of opinion as long as you are respecting the law, there is a very little line between freedom and chaos," he said.

"I am absolutely on the side of the freedom of each citizen and at the same time I am on the side of the security of Egypt, and I would not let anything dangerous happen that would threaten the peace and the law and the future of the country."

[Updated 5:16 p.m. (0016 in Egypt)] President Hosni Mubarak is expected to speak soon, state-run Nile TV reports. Mubarak has not made any public appearances today.

[Updated 5:09 p.m. (0009 in Egypt)] It's just after midnight in Egypt and people are still milling about the streets in defiance of a government curfew, but activity has calmed, CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports. Riot police appear to have withdrawn from the streets of Cairo and Alexandria after several hours of confrontation with protesters, and in their place the Egyptian Army has taken up presence, guarding government buildings.

State-run media reports that an "important statement" will be given later Friday in Egypt.

[Updated 4:58 p.m. (2358 in Egypt)] Thirteen people have died and 75 were injured in Suez, Egypt, Nile TV reported Friday, citing medical sources.

[Updated 4:51 p.m. (2351 in Egypt)] U.S. stocks plunged Friday - with the Dow industrial average falling 166 points, its largest loss since November, and the Nasdaq exchange losing 3% of its value - as investors grew nervous about political unrest in Egypt.

[Updated 4:35 p.m. (2335 in Egypt)] As public protests against the Mubarak regime spread from Cairo to New York City, Egyptian-American activists on Friday called on the Obama adminstration to back the "Lotus Revolution" to oust the authoritarian ruler. They also called on President Hosni Mubarak's government to end its purported practices of detentions, torture and "extrajudicial killings."

[Updated 4:00 p.m. (2300 in Egypt)] An iReporter visiting Egypt shot this video from his hotel room of demonstrators swarming three Army vehicles as they drove down the street.

[Updated 3:52 p.m. (2252 in Egypt)] The United States will review its aid to Egypt based on what is happening there now, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.

[Updated 3:31 p.m. (2231 in Egypt)] Egyptian military officials have cut short their talks at the Pentagon to head back to northern Africa, according to Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff. Their meetings with their U.S. military counterparts had been scheduled to continue through Wednesday.

[Updated 3:20 p.m. (2222 in Egypt)] The White House has been in touch with the Egyptian government but U.S. President Barack Obama has not spoken with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a briefing.

"We are deeply concerned about the images and events we see in Egypt today. We monitor those events closely; the security personnel need to refrain from violence, protesters should refrain from violence," he said.

"The legitimate grievances that have festered for quite some time in Egypt have to be addressed by the Egyptian government immediately, and violence is not the response. Space has to be created for meaningful dialogue that addresses those very legitimate grievances."

[Updated 2:56 p.m. (2156 in Egypt)] The building housing the offices of the National Democratic Party, Egypt's ruling party, was burned and ransacked by demonstrators in Cairo on Friday, Nile TV is reporting. A CNN source saw the building burning.

[Updated 2:52 p.m. (2152 in Egypt)] CNN's Steve Kastenbaum spoke with a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco and a Mideast adviser to several presidential administrations about the conditions that led to these demonstrations and where they might spread. Click on the icon to listen:

[Updated 2:41 p.m. (2141 in Egypt)] A reporter for the BBC was bloodied but returned to the air, bandage in place. Watch:

[Updated 2:25 p.m. (2125 in Egypt)] Delta Airlines tells CNN it will have a flight departing Cairo on Saturday and then suspend service to the Egyptian capital indefinitely as a result of the civil unrest.

[Updated 2:21 p.m. (2121 in Egypt)] Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, published late Thursday what is purported to be a guide to Egyptians on how to protest on Friday. The pamphlet includes strategies for taking over government buildings and diagrams showing how to fend off riot police. Read Madrigal's report and see how the pamphlet looks here.

[Updated 2:03 p.m. (2103 in Egypt)] The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert regarding the unrest in Egypt. It cites disrupted travel between cities and the government's interruption of internet and cell phone service. "Given this situation, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time and advises U.S. citizens currently in Egypt to defer non-essential movement and to exercise caution," the alert states.

[Updated 1:39 p.m. (2039 in Egypt)] Several high-ranking Egyptian military officials were in the Pentagon on Friday for a previously scheduled visit, CNN's Chris Lawrence reports. They're attending the annual U.S.-Egypt Military Cooperation Committee meetings to discuss military training, security assistance and defense industrial cooperation.

[Updated 1:33 p.m. (2033 in Egypt)] A pair of CNN iReporters sent impressive video of demonstrators forcing riot police to retreat across the Kasr Al Nile Bridge.

[Updated 1:25 p.m. (2025 in Egypt)] The Egyptian government has ordered cell phone companies to shut down service in selected areas, Vodafone says, adding that it is obliged by law to comply with the order.

[Updated 1:19 p.m. (2047 in Egypt)] Demonstrators in Cairo surrounded a military vehicle, but they were cheering the army, a respected institution in Egypt.

[Updated 12:47 p.m. (1947 in Egypt)] Protesters at the Information Ministry in Cairo are chanting, "The people and the army, we are one," CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports.

[Updated 12:44 p.m. (1944 in Egypt)] Armored personnel carriers are pulling into Alexandria. Protesters are embracing the military presence, CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

 [Updated 12:42 p.m. (1942 in Egypt)] Egyptian TV is reporting that the curfew has been extended to all provinces in Egypt.

[Updated 12:37 p.m. (1937 in Egypt)] The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 140 points at midday in New York because of the unrest in Egypt. The price of oil has soared $3.70 a barrel and gold has rallied by more than $22 an ounce.

[Updated 12:21 p.m. (1921 in Egypt)] Demonstrators are attacking a police station in Cairo housing officers who protect the state Information Ministry, CNN's Ben Wedeman reports. Live gunfire can be heard, he says.

[Updated 12:10 p.m. (1910 in Egypt)] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Egyptian government to exercise restraint in dealing with protests and to respect citizens' human rights. She also cautioned demonstrators to refrain from violence. Clinton asked the government "to allow peaceful protests and reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications." "We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protesters and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything within its power to restrain its security forces," Clinton said. "At the same time, protesters should also refrain from violence and express themselves peacefully." Clinton was speaking to reporters at the State Department after a meeting with Colombia's vice president. 

[Updated 11:58 a.m. (1858 in Egypt)] Protesters are trying to make their way into the center of Cairo despite the government's imposition of an overnight curfew, CNN's Ben Wedeman reports. Egyptian army personnel are not confronting them, and the protesters are treating the soldiers with respect, he says.

[Updated 11:50 a.m. (1850 in Egypt)] Fires can be seen in front of the Egyptian ruling party headquarters in Cairo, state-run Nile TV said Friday night. A Nile TV anchor said "criminals" are setting the blazes.

[Updated 11:34 a.m. (1834 in Egypt)] A protester in Cairo appears to be shot when he picks up a rock to throw at riot police; witnesses and a security source say the man died.

[Updated 11:18 a.m. (1818 in Egypt)] People continue to travel the streets after dark on foot and in vehicles despite the commencement of a government-imposed curfew, live video from Al-Jazeera shows.

[Updated 11:05 a.m. (1805 in Egypt)] Egyptian security forces were shutting the Cairo office of Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera with force on Friday, according to Mohasad Nanabhay, head of new media for the network.

[Updated 10:51 a.m. (1751 in Egypt)] Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is expected to make a speech this evening to address the unrest.

[Updated 10:37 a.m. (1737 in Egypt)] CNN's Nic Roberston reports a police station is among buildings on fire in downtown Alexandria.

[Updated 10:33 a.m. (1730)] The Egyptian government has imposed a curfew in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria, effective less than 30 minutes from now (11 a.m. ET, 1800 in Egypt), according to Egyptian state TV.

[Updated 10:24 a.m. (1724 in Egypt)] See photos taken by a CNN iReporter from a hotel window in Cairo.

[Updated 10:21 a.m. (1721 in Egypt)] Police reportedly are confiscating cameras from guests, including tourists, at the Hilton Hotel in Cairo.

[Updated 10:13 a.m. (1713 in Egypt)] Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has been placed under house arrest, a high-level security source told CNN Friday.

[Updated 10:04 a.m. (1704 in Egypt)] CNN's Ben Wedeman reports his first sighting of Egyptian army troops getting involved in the unrest in Cairo.

Two armored personnel carriers arrived near a bridge to cries of "Allahu akhbar" from protesters, who apparently believe the army will show more restraint than riot police have, Wedeman reported.

[Updated 9:57 a.m. (1657 in Egypt)] U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday called on Egypt's government "to exercise restraint and protect the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression, information and assembly.

"I call on the government to take concrete measures to guarantee the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, including by restoring free use of mobile phones and social networks," she said in a statement.

[Updated 9:49 a.m. (1649 in Egypt)] One woman killed in clashes in Cairo, Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reports via Twitter.

[Updated 9:45 a.m. ET (1645 in Egypt) Unrest apparently is worsening in central Alexandria on Friday afternoon, with thick heavy smoke billowing through the streets, eruptions of automatic and single-shot gunfire, and an apparent blaze near the city's Manshia Square, CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

[Updated 9:39 a.m. ET] Tweets from CNN iReporters in the past hour:

Salma Al-Hussaini - Says she's an 18-year-old in Dubai: I heard from my cousins. Apparently only landlines are working. & things are frightening, people must stay indoor to stay safe.

Cyberela: Unable to reach my cousin in Heliupolis #Cairo, international mobile phone is dead. 🙁

Baby B.: I wish I heard from my family in Egypt but I can't thru on their house phone and other means of communication are down. 

[Updated 9:30 a.m.] U.S. President Barack Obama is requesting daily "multiple briefings" on the crisis in Egypt, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Friday.

Obama received a memo from National Security Adviser Tom Donilon on Friday and will get another update during the president's daily briefing on intelligence matters.

[Updated 9:09 a.m.] Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt's independent daily newspaper, tweets: Protesters storm Misr Helwan Street headed to Downtown, chanting, "people want the regime to fall". #25Jan

[Updated 9:06 a.m.] Protesters on a pedestrian bridge throw rocks at police vehicles passing below.

[Updated 9:02 a.m.] Fresh tweets getting through from CNN's Ben Wedeman:

Massive cloud of tear gas at Zamalek end of 6 October Bridge..into the Nile. Protesters continue to chant "Down Down Mubarak. #Jan25 #Egypt

Egypt TV: Police have established complete control in all areas...over pictures of tear gas, burning car, protesters. #Jan25 #Egypt

Madness in central Cairo. Tear gas everywhere police truck drives on 6 October Bridge randomly firing tear gas at point blank range #Jan25

[Updated 8:56 a.m.] iReporters have sent images, videos and descriptions of the unrest in Egypt.

[Updated 8:44 a.m.] Riot police are using tear gas to disperse tens of thousand of protesters on the streets of the Egyptian city of Suez, state TV in Egypt reported Friday. The protests have been violent and about 15,000 riot police have been deployed there, state TV reported.

[Updated 8:34 a.m.] Internet shut down across Egypt, interrupting Twitter and text communication among protest groups.

[Updated 8:29 a.m.] CNN's Nic Robertson tweets from Alexandria that older men are calming younger protesters and talking to police in tear gas-filled streets. Police are falling back in response, calming a volatile situation.

[Updated 7:40 a.m.] A major Egyptian protest group says the government crackdown on demonstrators is occurring across the nation on Friday. Along with Cairo and Alexandria, riot police are cracking down on protesters in Suez, Ismailia, Fayoum, and Shbin Elkoum, according to a message from Egyptian Liberation.

Four French journalists have been arrested in Cairo, said Bernard Valero, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry.

[Posted 7:25 a.m.] Clashes have erupted in the Egyptian city of Cairo on Friday, according to CNN reporters at the scene.

Protesters have taken to the street and tear gas was being fired. Plainclothes and riot police have stepped in to confront the protesters.

Police have told Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei not to leave a mosque near downtown Cairo, a security source told CNN.

A CNN crew working to cover the clashes felt the wrath of Egypt's police on Friday.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman said police grabbed a camera from network photojournalist Mary Rogers, cracked its viewfinder, and took the camera away.

Wedeman, who gave the account on CNN television, urged police to give back the camera to show that Egypt indeed does believe in freedom of the press.

But, he said, the forces wouldn't agree.

Wedeman and CNN Correspondent Fred Pleitgen said the incident is apparently not isolated since camera crews from other networks have had similar experiences.

soundoff (946 Responses)
  1. yellow cat

    The unrest in Egypt will spread like a virus worldwide and yes this includes the U.S. as it is not immune to the lousy economy with epidemic foreclosures, high unemployment with no end in sight, high food prices, high fuel costs, healthcare soaring cost, people going hungry and homeless. The realization is here we are becoming a 2 class society, the rich and poor. Yes this is now the new America. Wake up people! Never a better time to revolt. You who are lucky to have a job today may not have it tomorrow!

    January 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. People Power

    I personally took part and experienced how to boot out a dictator. This was back in the 80's when the power of ordinary citizens brought down the government of the Marcos dictatorship. It happened in the capital city of the Philippine Islands- Manila. There were no facebook, twitter or other social networks available to us. It was pure discontent towards the dictator, his wife Imelda and all their corrupt cronies both political and his circle of friends. The method of communication then was through word of mouth and the telephone. It was amazing in the sense that crowds would easily fill up the streets in a matter of hours.

    Our small group had the luxury of having the CB (Citizens Band) radio system in our cars where we were able to monitor movement of soldiers still loyal to the dictator. The information was then forwarded to the 2 major players during the revolution. These 2 were the former Chief of Staff of the Military and former Defense Minister who was in fact the co-architect behind the declaraion of Martial Law in the early 70's. They felt that it was time for a change. Some say that these 2 were really trying to stage a coup detat that got it's cover blown. Whatever their intentions were, it was welcomed by the people. We supported and protected them by just staying out en masse in highways, small and big streets. This action completely blocked any tanks or other military vehicles from getting through without running over and killing people. We have touched their hearts and treated them humanely by allowing the women and children provide food, water and boquets of flowers. The soldiers responded back by just sitting in their tanks.

    The success of our revolution was also because the Air Force and most military personnel decided to defect and completely side with the people. If my memory serves me right, there were only a handful of fatalities during the revolt which was amazing.

    I wish the Egyptians the best and that no more blood be spilled. This might be too late but do not continue to provoke the military/police but find ways in getting them to understand your fight. Police your own ranks as thugs will join you and ruin your cause. Also, a strong word of caution, be careful of other power hungry individuals or parties that may be too extreme in their political or religious beliefs. They will hijack your ideals.

    Long live People Power!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carmen

    It strongly strikes me that in a lot of your programs covering the situation in Egypt the only alternative and name brought up by many of your hosts and programs is "muslim brotherhood"! Does anyone here knows the dark and bloody history of this group? Does anyone read or watch what they've done to Egypt and Egyptians over the years? Please these people listen and study every word CNN says; Egypt will turn into another Iran should the muslim brotherhood takes over – a SUNI one though! God forbid. This is not the change people want, this is not the change poeple are dying for, this is another radical islamist group governing Egypt. These are people who follow word for word the Koran and Wahabi doctrines. Please do not even suggest it. Egypt is full of highly respected thinkers and leaders that could do a better job.

    January 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rdthomas1999

    Anyone in office for 30 years is a dictator, not a President.

    January 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AA

    Nice job of covering this, CNN. This reporting reminds me of your glory days covering the Persian Gulf War. CNN in the U.S. should move to imitate the CNN International model, not the other way around. Please keep reporting the serious news and minimize the fluff. Your reporter on the scene has breathed in a lot of tear gas – hope he's okay.

    January 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. beuter

    Let freedom ring!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason Jeremias

    JL...Spoken like someone who has never lived in or visited a country that is suffering from the repression of the most god given basic fundamental freedoms. When the dispossessed cannot look to their country to respect and protect the people's human rights, then a weight shifts onto the shoulders of the rest of the world....when the world fails to respond, then the pen of history is dipped into the well of tears that inscribes the pages of time with words like Auschwitz, the killing fields, Rwanda...We need to put the interest of our common humanity over the political interests. If a government official arrested your wife, or loved one, based on a law that restricted her, or their rights, emanating from a dictator that some foreign government propped up, out of fear that people cannot do the right thing on their own, how would you feel.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. NorthernBear

    This is all Americas fault. The Tea party people were there infiltrating this and they started the riots and killings over there. This is Sara Palin's fault too. The tea party needs to be stopped before they kill more people in Cairo and in Phoenix. Revolution is the only solution. Patria o muerte venceremos! VIva Che!

    January 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Doug

    I wonder if the leadership of the Egyptian military is made up of patriotic pragmatic men? They have had years of contact with western military leaders. Maybe some democratic sensibilities have rubbed off on them? If so, maybe the military could be the answer in the short term? Just wondering.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. popeye1128

    'Front Row Seat'? A bit crass when people are dying don't you think?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. timpuri

    "True freedom and democracy"... Sounds so beautiful... and utopian ... The guy in the picture above looks less like a "marching for charge" and more like carrying a fax-machine after looting a store or an office...

    January 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sara

    The Arabic-speaking CNN correspondent in Cairo said one of the plain clothes policemen looked like he was under the influence of drugs when he assaulted them.

    This reminds me of the Crack-down of the Tiennamen Square demonstrations; there are interviews gathered that soldiers were injected with drugs to make them fearless, rash and aggressive as they fired upon civilians. *In the next 4 hours and the next 24 hours, dealing with an army amped up and operating under the influence of narcotics is a distinct possibility. What will the protestors face? How does this distinct possibility change the game tomorrow?

    January 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    This is why arabs are weak, they have puppet leaders watch http://www.egyptianrevolution.com

    January 28, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. steelers01


    Angry at Gov
    How do you know ?? Mubarak has to go anyway .. he's been there for 30 yrs and achieved nothing ..
    He took care of him self and never gave a damn about people ..
    Because the cult of islam and democracy cannot exist together. Amazing that you want these islamic pukes to rule egypt...unreal!

    January 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. xomiroxo

    I am Egyptian Christian living in the USA, the USA and the rest of the world will be mistaken and making a big mistake if they think that removing Mubarak will solve the problem and will bring peace to the region. If the Muslims Brotherhood or other fundamental Muslim take over the rule, all Christians in Egypt will be killed and there will be no peace relations with the USA or any other country. You guys have no idea and no clue of the consequences.

    The police didn't take actions against peaceful protest walk but now other people got involved and turned it into violence burning and stealing banks and stores. so do you want the police to watch and call it treat people with democracy? common!

    Obama is criticizing and asking to treat protesters nice and requesting reform for the economy but he has no clue of what will happen if Muslim brotherhood radicals take over the rule. How about fixing our economy and saving all money he is spending in the wars that are involved in?

    if this issue doesn't get resolved peacefully, Egypt will become another IRAQ and all Egyptians will lose and forget all dreams of progress and better life and there will be no peace with USA or Israel. Wake Up USA unless you want another IRAQ!

    January 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
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