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. marie

    As an American, I support Egypt 100 percent for I traveled to Egypt recently. I have seen the many poor people sleeping in graves fighting to live they are the starving and suffering. If you have shelter is considered luxury. Think of our closets a room like this is holding a family no beds . This is considered shelter for working Egyptians. I have seen it for my own eyes, I adore the Egyptian people they are the most sweetest people I have ever met. The crys of suffering and poor has been heard. Go on Egypt we love you

    January 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tommy

    We in the U.S. are by no means denouncing the protests, in fact, we encourage the people of Egypt to stand up for their human rights. Its in the peoples hands to take back their country from a tyrant. Hopefully the people of Egypt will want to encourage a democratic Government with fair elections so the people can have the person they vote for be in office legitmatley. The people of Egypt have lived under Martial law for over 20 years. Its time they turn the tide on their government, and to me, it looks like that,s just what happening. I just hope the military support their people. The U.S. concern is if a rouge regime takes power in Egypt, then the whole middle east will become unstable, and that will spell trouble for the entire world.

    January 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brad

    Born June 15, 1978 in Port Huron Michigan. Raised in Canada by a Canadian father and an American mother. I get the luxury of looking from the outside in and the inside out. Don't tell me what America is, I know what it is. And this is not a generalized sweeping statement. Maybe I forgot to say some Americans instead of all Americans but don't lecture me on what America is. Don't make such broad accusations next time about people you don't know. You just proved my point in my "ill informed sweeping generalization".

    January 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Canadian

    It's too bad that antquities and display cases have been damaged at the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo, obviously done by pro-Mubarak cronies.


    January 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dougjmiller

    It's good that so many people in Egypt are demanding an end to the autocratic
    dictatorship that has held onto power for decades. It's good that people are enthusiastically,
    and for the most part non-violently, demanding freedom and democracy. But the reality is
    that it's radical Islamic forces under the cover of these popular demonstrations who are
    perpetrating violence and who will benefit from the fall of the Mubarak regime. Radical
    Islamic terrorists, the ones who have been murdering Christians in order to ethnically
    cleanse Egypt of Christianity, are poised to impose a radical Islamic dictatorship on
    Egypt. Islamic terrorists are the ones with the guns, the money and the desire to kill
    their way to power.
    The demonstrations may start with the promise of a new day, filled with the hope
    for freedom and democracy, but they will, in all likelihood, end with the violent oppression
    of all Egyptians.

    January 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tommy

    Also Brad....
    Just like you, "we the people" the average middle class don't always agree with what our gov't does in so far as foreign policy. Dont jump down our throats, we are just like you, spectators to the cause, and if you'd realize, most average Americans, not government puppets, do, in fact, wish the Egyptian people success in their quest for a better life. Just because the people in power do things you dont like, does not mean the average American supports the decisions made by the elite in power. We too, "the people of the US" are at the mercy of the political powers that be. Who knows, one day, America may have to rise up against our own government, seems every few months they want to steal away another right we have. So Brad...we hear you, and we are listening to you.

    January 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Leslie Esperanza Espaillat

    Sounds like Musical Chairs or a Switch and Bait government change. I can even say it reminds me of a Volleyball Game of Politics.~Leslie E.

    "I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits."~Martin L. King, Jr.

    January 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. concerned

    What this world needs is to understand that we are becoming a world without God. There is but ONE God and without Him, we are doomed. Don't you people understand that He holds all of our lives in the palm of His hand? I speak from my point of view and I speak for no one else. I am an American who is saved by the grace of God Almighty and say we need to get busy doing what Jesus, our Lord, would want us to do. We need to quit trying to tell everybody else what they can and can't do. God is in control of our lives, not some man. Although I do believe we have leaders for a reason and sometimes those leaders do not do what is in our best interest, I do not think this is how God wants His people to be acting. Whatever religion you are, isn't peace and love and forgiveness what it is all about? Why are we too busy calling each other hypocrites and worrying about what the next person is doing? We need to get back to worrying about what is going on in our nation. If everyone would mind their own business and take care of their own needs, we ALL would be better off.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sarah

    would we have Barrak Obama stay in the office untill his daughters are old enough to become president themselves? Then why in heck would we have the right to support any other ruler doing just that? This is so frustrating its not even funny. Egypt ,stand strong and no one will be able to break through you. I support you.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. censored

    It amazes me hoe other countries protest and everyone gets involved and changes are made, but yet we can't get changes made here in our own country.... We need to rise up like other people for lower prices, and new reform. I might just move to israel.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Asundur

    People around the world act like this tragedy is SHOCKING? Analyze the way we live. Use foresight. Be constructively judgmental, and to yourself. Our causes have blossomed their effects and this is just the beginning. If we even make it another 50 years as a human species, this WILL be peanuts compared to what's coming our way and, to other countries around the world. Don't be so naive. We have no self control as humans and regretfully, this will brew our demise. This will happen. It's happened before, now, and will again. We've obviously learned NOTHING! We are a pathetic race. We hurt ourselves by the decisions we foolishly make. We don't think about the ripples we make. The only way we might learn, is with an end. Then tell me, what good is that???

    If we could only work together as a race we could be the most incredible thing ever created in the universe (as far as we know)

    January 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      couldn't have said it better , well done

      January 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Milenkovic

    I have heard that when the government recruits police they have all the applicants in one big room. They ask for a show of hands for how many can read. Then a show of hands of those who can read a little. Then a show of hands of those who can't read at all. They choose those who can't read at all so they will have more control and influence over them.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hajja Romi Elnagar


      You may be right. My Egyptian-born husband tells me that the police are poor peasants, and uneducated.

      January 31, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Milenkovic

    Antiquities museum looted. Only Thugs have weapons; look a lot like police in civvies.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mr. Davidson

    Oh tanks good wonder what weapons yard sale they got those beauties from

    January 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pat

    I don't know what the whole situation is, and haven't taken a side on the issue, but If I could tell the Egyptians one thing it would be stop looting!!! Any and almost every protest, revolution, etc. . . involves looting from bad people, but the truth is opinion wins and ruining people opinion about this movement can crush all hope!

    January 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
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