Egypt unrest: Mubarak at military center, Al Jazeera slams Egyptian government
Egyptian army tanks move along the Corniche Al Nile near the Information Ministry.
January 29th, 2011
06:03 PM ET

Egypt unrest: Mubarak at military center, Al Jazeera slams Egyptian government

Read full coverage of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide. Are you there? Send your photos and video to iReport.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Egypt's major cities on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-rule. Here are the latest developments as confirmed by CNN.

Sunday January 30, 2011:

[Update 3 p.m. Cairo, 8 a.m. ET] Turkey has sent two planes to Egypt to begin evacuating its citizens.

[Update 2:45 p.m. Cairo, 7:45 a.m. ET] State-run Nile TV reports that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is currently visiting an armed services operations center to follow up on the security situation and in show of support. State television also reporting that Egypt's military has arrested 450 people in various parts of Cairo.

Egypt's defense minister, Gen. Mohamad Tantawi, urged the public Sunday to obey the 4 p.m.-8 a.m. curfew (9 a.m.-1 a.m. ET) Tantawi's statement was carried by state television, and Tantawi was escorted to the network's headquarters by red-helmeted troops in a convoy of sport-utility vehcies. Tantawi is among the Cabinet ministers that Mubarak announced he was replacing over the weekend.

Also Sunday afternoon in Cairo, Al Jazeera "strongly denounces" the closure of its Cairo bureau by the Egyptian government, the news network said in a statement Sunday. Egypt's information ministry announced the shutdown of Al Jazeera in Egypt and the withdrawal of its media license to operate in the country, state-run Nile TV reported Sunday.

Saturday January 29, 2011:

[Update 1:50 a.m. Cairo, 6:50 p.m. ET] - Roughly 1,000 prisoners have escaped from Prison Demu in Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, state-run Nile TV reported early Sunday. The inmates are "on the streets causing chaos and families are scared," according to Nile TV.

[Update 1:33 a.m. Cairo, 6:33 p.m. ET] - Seventeen people have been shot to death by Egyptian police, according to Reuters.

Twelve people were killed trying to attack a police station in Beni Suef governorate, south of Cairo, Reuters reported. Another five people died in an attempted attack on a station in Nasr City, according to Reuters.

[Update 1:16 a.m. Cairo, 6:16 p.m. ET] - CNN's Ben Wedeman (#bencnn) tweeted that angry crowds dragged two looters to soldiers. The army is in control of the Egyptian Museum.

The Egyptian Museum hosts one of the most extensive collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world, including the treasures of Tutankhamun. In addition to jewelry, sculptures and artwork, the museum boasts the Royal Mummy Room, which features the remains of several pharaohs. The artifacts were discovered around the turn of the 20th century.

In Alexandria, CNN's Nic Robertson (#NicRobertsonCNN) tweeted that gangs of machete- and iron-bar-wielding youths are stalking the deserted streets of Alexandria despite a curfew.

[Update 12:53 a.m. Cairo, 5:53 p.m. ET] - In front of military tanks, people have gathered arm in arm outside the Egyptian Museum, protecting the famed building from looters.

[Update 10:47 p.m. Cairo, 3:47 p.m. ET] - CNN's Ben Wedeman (#bencnn) sent these tweets within the past 20 minutes:

  • Neighborhood protection groups wearing white armbands in Cairo. People getting organised to end chaos and looting.
  • NDP source says Omar Sulaiman VP appointment should be seen as first step for transfer of power.

[Update 9:40 p.m. Cairo, 2:40 p.m. ET] - National Security Adviser Tom Donilon on Saturday held a meeting with top officials to discuss the events in Egypt, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. Among the participants were Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Israeli politician Benjamin Ben Eliezer says Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak recently told him "this is not Beirut and not Tunis." In an interview with Israeli TV on Saturday, Eliezer said that Mubarak suggested that Egyptian authorities knew what was going on and had prepared the army in advance.

In Alexandria, the scene at hospitals was chaotic, CNN's Nic Robertson said in a message on Twitter. The facilities were short-staffed and injured protesters said they were not being treated quickly enough.

[Update 8:19 p.m. Cairo, 1:19 p.m. ET] Cairo residents have given accounts of lawlessness after police withdraw from the streets. There were reports of looting and residents appealing to authorities for protection.

  • CNN photojournalist Mary Rogers saw businesses looted in a downtown Cairo mall. She saw fast-food restaurants - KFC and Hardee's - smashed and looted. People were carrying items from the mall.
  • Journalist Ian Lee said vigilante groups in a middle-class Cairo neighborhood called Dohy were forming to protect personal property. He heard live fire, but saw no police presence. Soldiers were in the area but did not respond to the trouble, he said.
  • CNN's Fred Pleitgen tweeted: Illegal checkpoints popping up in Cairo. Just ran by a group of guys with guns and clubs.
  • From Alexandria, CNN's Nic Robertson tweeted: Without police, Alexandria residents fearful of looting, set up neighborhood watch, board shop windows.

[Update 7:05 p.m. Cairo, 12:05 p.m. ET] CNN's Ben Wedeman (#bencnn) sent this series of tweets within the past 20 minutes:

  • Came to office by Cairo metro today. People talking about Mubarak as president IN THE PAST TENSE. For most I spoke, Mubarak is gone.
  • Almost all police stations ransacked, arsenals looted. Suddenly weapons in the streets wielded by thugs. Where is the army?
  • Saw a truckload of riot police leaving Cairo this morning. they looked defeated and scared. people say "they should be"
  • Widely believed hated #Egypt police force playing part in the chaos and looting. they've abandoned their posts, in civilian clothes
  • In residential areas of Cairo people setting up barricades to protect their streets. Wielding clubs, knives fearing looters.
  • Man in Tahrir Square told me "We have fired Mubarak." It's clear from the streets that he's no longer wanted.

[Update 6:55 p.m. Cairo, 11:55 a.m. ET] At least 31 people have been killed in protests in Alexandria, Egypt, hospital authorities told CNN Saturday.

[Update 6:46 p.m. Cairo, 11:46 a.m. ET] Omar Suleiman, Egypt's newly appointed deputy president, "is someone that we know well and have worked closely with," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told CNN on Saturday.

[Update 6:19 p.m. Cairo, 11:19 a.m. ET] Egyptian Army Chief of Staff Sami Annan was huddling Saturday with five of his deputies after returning to Egypt from Washington, a senior Egyptian military official told CNN. Annan and other top officials were attending high-level talks with Pentagon officials when this week's unrest broke out and those meetings were cut short Friday for the Egyptians to return to Cairo.

[Update 6:07 Cairo, 11:07 ET] Ahmed Shafik, a minister from the cabinet that resigned today, has been appointed to form a new government, state TV reported. Shafik is Egypt's former civil aviation minister.

[Update 5:45 p.m. Cairo, 10:45 a.m. ET] At least five people have died from gunshot wounds near the Egyptian Interior Ministry, according to a physician at a triage center in a Cairo mosque.

[Update 5:28 p.m. Cairo, 10:28 a.m. ET] Omar Suleiman, a former head of intelligence, has been appointed presidential deputy for Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, state TV reported.

[Update 5:19 p.m. Cairo, 10:19 a.m. ET] The Egyptian military is urging people "to stop the looting, chaos and the things that hurt Egypt. Protect the nation, protect Egypt, protect yourselves," according to state TV in Egypt.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday, affirming his solidarity with Egypt, the official Palestinian news agency reported.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Mubarak on Saturday to seize the moment and carry through with reforms in Egypt.

Egypt's ruling party has accepted the resignation of Ahmed Ezz, who was one of its senior leaders and a close confidant of Mubarak's son, according to state-run Nile TV.

The Egyptian military blocked protesters who were trying to enter a central bank building, Al Arabiya is reporting.

[Update 4:40 p.m. Cairo, 9:40 a.m ET] Police are firing on demonstrators at the Interior Ministry building in Cairo, journalist Ian Lee tells CNN. Lee said he was standing over a man who appeared to have been shot in the head.

[Update 4:12 p.m. Cairo, 9:12 a.m. ET] Midyear examinations have been delayed in all of Egypt's universities, state-run Nile TV reported on Saturday.

[Update 4:03 p.m. Cairo, 9:03 a.m. ET] Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of protesters remain in front of the Information Ministry building on Corniche Al Nile in Cairo despite arrival of curfew and presence of army tanks, CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports.

[Update 3:59 p.m. in Cairo, 8:59 ET] A tweet from Ashraf Khalil in Cairo: Was in Tahrir 10 minutes after Mubarak gave his speech. Protestors though[t] it was comical. They weren't even mad, just laughed it off.

[Update 3:39 p.m. Cairo, 8:39 ET] Delta Air Lines says its final flight out of Egypt has departed from Cairo and is scheduled to arrive at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport at 5:50 p.m. ET. "We have suspended flights out of Egypt indefinitely," Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec said. More information is available at Delta's website.

[Update 3:31 p.m. Cairo, 8:31 a.m. ET] Thirty-eight people have died in the unrest in Egypt, including 10 members of the security forces, the state-run Nile TV reported Saturday.

[Update 3:28 p.m. Cairo, 8:28 a.m. ET] The Iranian government urges Egypt to react peacefully to public demonstrations and respond constructively to demonstrators' demands, Iran's state-run Press TV reports.

"Iran expects Egyptian officials to listen to the voice of their Muslim people, respond to their rightful demands and refrain from exerting violence by security forces and police against an Islamic wave of awareness that has spread through the country in form of a popular movement," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Saturday.

Tehran attaches great importance to the fulfillment of public demands in Egypt, he said.

"Iran regards demonstrations by the Muslim people of this country as a justice-seeking movement in line with their national-religious demands."

In 2009, the Iranian government carried out a bloody crackdown on political demonstrations following the suspicious landslide re-election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

[Update 2:41 p.m. Cairo, 7:41 a.m. ET] The Egyptian cabinet has presented its resignation in response to President Hosni Mubarak's request in his speech Saturday, Egypt's state-run Nile TV is reporting.

[Update 2:31 p.m. Cairo, 7:31 a.m. ET] A nighttime curfew from 4 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday local time has been imposed in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, state-run Nile TV reported.

[Update 2:25 p.m Cairo, 7:25 a.m. ET] Saudi Arabia's king told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he stands with the Egyptian government. In the statement reported by the Saudi Press Agency, King Abdullah said in a Saturday phone call to Mubarak that he condemned people who have attempted "to destabilize the nation's security and stability."

[Update 2:11 p.m. Cairo, 7:11 a.m. ET] The Egyptian government has announced that the Egyptian stock market and all banks will be closed Sunday, which usually is a normal business day in the Middle East.

[Earlier] - Cell phone service was apparently restored Saturday morning, a day after the internet went dark in many parts of the country and some text messaging and cell phone services were apparently blocked amid calls for intensified protests.

- Police fired tear gas on protesters who were pushing toward the country's Interior Ministry in Cairo on Saturday.

- At least 2,000 protesters gathered in Raml Square in Alexandria on Saturday. There was no sign of police, and protests appeared peaceful. People chanted, "No for Mubarak and his dynasty."

- They also said, "The military and the people together will change the regime." Protesters smiled and shook hands with troops patrolling the area. One soldier cradled a baby and posed for a picture.

- Also on Saturday, Egyptian military tanks surrounded Cairo's Tahrir Square, where a crowd of hundreds of protesters continue growing. Demonstrators chanted, "Down with Mubarak" and "We are all Egyptians." The atmosphere was tense, but people gathered in the square were posing for pictures with tanks and shaking troops' hands.

- Tahrir Square, located near many government buildings in the heart of downtown Cairo, has been a focal point for protesters. Nearby, police fired tear gas on protesters who were pushing toward the country's Interior Ministry.

- Mubarak said in a speech Saturday morning that he asked the members of his government to resign so that he can form a new government, under his direction.

- The Egyptian leader, who has been president for 30 years, said, "We have to be careful of anything that would allow chaos." He said his primary goal was to protect Egypt's security, and he criticized looters and those who had set fires.

- Mubarak, 82, said that he heard from demonstrators who wanted more job opportunities and lower prices on key goods. According to a translation, he said, "I know all these things ... that the people are asking about it. I've never been separated from it, and I work for it every day."

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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
soundoff (578 Responses)
  1. Dejardins

    I think the military is also tired of Mubatak

    January 29, 2011 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Kerk

      There are people that couldn't find India on a map in my country but know which country Mubarak is president of. When people are stingy they say "oh you totally mubaraked that sandwich"

      January 29, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • opinion

      Well that's nice, I just heard on the news the tear gas they are firing into the civillians, the canisters say "MADE IN THE USA" ??? and now the civillians are making comments about it. This is soooo messed up.

      January 29, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • From The Don

      I have to admire these people for standing up for what they believe in.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      The military is the real power. If Mubarak leaves and the protest does not stop the military will show their hand.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • JL

      The reason the tear gas says Made in America is because we have been sending money and supplies to Egypt for years. It's not like we suddenly decided on friday to send over a bunch of tear gas to support the police. Don't you think the new government in Egypt is going to want our aid too?

      February 1, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dejardins

    I think the military is also tired of Mubarak

    January 29, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. McMurdo

    On the radiotalk shows and Tv
    you hear one thing again and again
    how the USA stands for freedom
    and we come to the aid of a friend
    but who are the ones that we call our friends
    these governments killing their own
    or the people who finally can't take any more
    so they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

    "Lives in the balance" Jackson Browne

    January 29, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      remember the US govement also killed their own people in Waco TX under Cinton?

      January 29, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TheLurkingBat

      they also did it under Nixon, Harding, Lincoln and George W. Bush...
      ...what's your point?

      January 29, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      Great reference!!

      January 29, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Raven

      I first heard that song on the TV Show Miami Vice.
      Great song.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      The point is if the current admin continues the corrupting practice of dealing with groups under the table and put out regulations that will increase the unemployment rate in the US while they are lavishly partying, taking expensive trips, and calling for cutting spendings in other areas. By then please don't tell people to shut up and stifle the true voice.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • TheLurkingBat

      if you change that from "the current administration" to "our government under any administration" I'll agree with you.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. egyptian

    Changing the Cabinet!!!! LOL. He changed them every 3-4 years. Soooo funny
    We don't want you, we don't want your family, we don't want your choices, we don't want your pictures, we don't want your tasteless policies, we don't want your corruption, we don't want your police.
    We will defeat the Pharaoh, we will defeat the Pharaoh.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • tadaham

      What is pharoah got to do with it.. It plainly stupid fat middle easterners fed on easy oli money, who have not fought for their rights. It is time you setup a decent way to govern yourselves. Look at a number of less equipped countries like India and bangladesh.. I have niggling fear that they would go for a religious theocratic state, that will make them waste another 100 years
      An indian perspective

      January 29, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      He changes them every 4 years in case one of them accidentally does a good job and becomes popular with the people, and therefore becomes a political threat to Mubarak. Maybe this time he will just switch them all around, from one ministry job to another, and hope no one notices. And maybe they won't!

      January 29, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Ric62

      That's what the Canadian Government calls a Cabinet Shuffle.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. GrrBehr

    So what, the cabinet resigns? I think, they're missing the point. The people want MUBARAK to resign, not his rubber-stamp so-called government... How dumb to think people won't notice that he's stayed in power.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • tadaham

      You underenstimate the stupidity of middle-easterners. The fact that he has gone so far into current centuary is s testimony to it.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. jeff


    January 29, 2011 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Hyram Tyre

    This will start a chain reaction...

    January 29, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Raven

      Actually the chain started in Tunisia last week, this is more IN the chain reaction....

      January 29, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. baro R

    No body knows for Egyptians more than the Egyptians themselves. Peoples' choice comes first. But the very important and really key question is: What kind of Government is going to be established if the government of Mubarek collapses? So I think this thing needs serious international attention. For peace and peaceful coexistence.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      But the Egyptian people will be the first to tell outsiders not to interfere. We all know the kindly President of Iran is just itching to help the Egyptians, who in a speech today described as "Muslims" fighting for "national religious ideals". See, most of the other Arab nations don't like that Mubarak has a secular government. And as one of the CNN guys pointed out, during the demonstrations, no one is carrying a placard saying "ISLAM IS THE ANSWER!".

      January 29, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Raven

      Can you imagine the result if the Taliban types come to power.
      7% of the worlds supply's come thru the Suez Canal......

      January 29, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tut


    January 29, 2011 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      -–> ANARCHYYYYYYYY and ABSOLUTE CHAOSSSSSSSSSSSSS - because you have no plan for "bokra".

      January 29, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. tom bradley

    If Only Mubarak would fly Congo Airlines all would be well.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Roman, Butler PA

    I AM the Light I AM the Way. I AM the Alpha and Omega.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • mary

      but many donot know that

      January 29, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      ..or even believe or understand what the hell you're talking about from your padded cell.

      January 29, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. suzanne

    Sometimes we back the wrong horse

    January 29, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      Only sometimes?

      January 29, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. OmraN

    Mubarak is dump
    he needs to be trashed sooner or later.
    We call him loughing cow.
    Tooooooo,,, old
    leave the way for younger generation you dump ass

    January 29, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      You are right, but who will replace him and do a good job? Do you REALLY think the Muslim Brotherhood is going to make things a lot better? Or a lot worse? (think Taliban). Or El Baradei, what does he know about running a country of 85 million people? Uncle Hosni has eliminated anyone around him that could take his place, so now there is no one that CAN replace him and do the job. And forget about Gamal, the Army will put his head on a pointy stick the same day he takes office.

      January 29, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      Mr. El Baritak, you pose the question we all are asking and concerned about. I heard one of the guests, in response to the same question by Jonathan Mann, and he said he had spoken to a Cleric who assured him that it was "Facebook" that was the leader of the protesters. So, maybe Mark Zuckerburg is now the new ruler of Tunisia and Egypt. Talk about how crazy everyone is right now would be redundant.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Skippy Stone

    A. "Crowds settle down because they love the military." Maybe. But, it's a lot different to face trained men with tanks and assault rifles than men with batons and shields.
    B. "It's the U.S. fault." It couldn't be that OVER population, where there are limited resources, and limited prospects, has anything to do with it, now could it?

    January 29, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • heba

      it seems to me you reflect both your own cowardliness and ignorance on others!
      1. in Egypt the military has an honorable history, it is more respected by them even more than we in USA respect the army because its historical rule was defending the country not offending the people.
      2. the military is draft so it is from the whole people
      3. the police is known there as thugs, they are brutal
      4. the protest was peaceful but the "thugs" started fighting them SO the police proved they are traitors
      5. the military is key in the success of such movement
      6. I am sure if it was you you would hide! more than a hundred killed but Egyptians keep on. US is not helping actually Mubarak and his thugs used US arms to fight the people!
      7. US gave BILLIONS to support the DICTATOR and his regime, and now US is not taking responsibility and still talking that he is a friend!!!! so much for democracy and freedom!
      8. I have a strong gut feeling you re too stupid, bigot, spoiled, and ignorant to understand
      good luck for you and your hate of freedom and real peace!

      January 29, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      C. You are seeing everything through the eyes of an outsider and have no idea of the relationship between the people and the military. But thanks for expressing your totally ignorant opinion. HINT: Did you know that every Egyptian male must train in the military once he reaches a certain age? Or that the average soldier is just as poor as an ordinary citizen? I had a soldier beg me for money one day in Alexandria. He wasn't pointing the AK-47 at me, so I decided it wasn't a stick-up and gave him a few gineas.

      January 29, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • John Felon

      Heba and Al Beritebak...buddies...come on, what's more cowardly than blaming others for your problems? Don't be typical. Say what's in your hearts, say what most people are afraid to say: that each of us is largely responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness. And don't contradict yourselves, you're too good for that. You talk about freedom and then speak with such pride about your military draft. A society isn't free if the government can tear you away from your life and send you to get your legs blown off for a cause you don't believe in. That's why we don't have one here in the U.S.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • val

      This is one ignorant, ugly American that truly hopes that the chaos and strife in Egypt produces a governmental system that will look after the interests of the Egyptian people. I also hope that the US will stay out of it, we have no business exerting any kind of influence, we don't run our own country successfully. I trust the people of Egypt to know what will be best for them. I hope the turmoil there ends soon and the Egyptians can get on with rebuilding their government, economy and lives.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. sad

    Why is our media covering this so much? Mubarak will not step down because let's face both us and Israel don't want to risk having muslim brotherhood at the helm. Mubarak serves our purposes, so what he doesn't do it for his people

    January 29, 2011 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • MaggieJS

      Our media is covering this because it's important world news, and what happens in the rest of the world affects us, always. Or haven't you noticed that? There are bad people in every country, including the US. And you can't hold the entire population of anywhere responsible for what a few bad people do. Hang on – it's going to be a bumpy ride.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
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