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. Philip

    @Christina....why? So that Egypt leaves Israel alone. Fundamentalist "Christians" teach that Israel is still "God's chosen Nation". They also vote a lot. If Congress were made up of fundamental "Christians", our children would be taught this and also that God created the earth in a few days, and that God would allow His disobedient children to be burned alive, forever. Is this what we want our children to learn in school.? I would rather they teach about evolution than teach about God allowing people to be burned alive. Don't you?

    January 30, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • JL

      CNN is not the place to get the truth...
      For true unbiased coverage that doesn't back down watch Al Jazeera here – >

      Also follow these on twitter for live updates of events on the ground

      February 1, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
    • JL

      You need to educate yourself before making such comment. The Muslim religion was created for the soul purpose of killing Jews and taking over the middle east. No? Do the research. Israel has ALWAYS been inhabited by Jews and has never been anything else, throughout all the wars of history. The extremist Arab objective has always been to rid Israel of Jews, that is the only reason the Muslim religion exists.

      February 1, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      You have to check your facts evolution isnt a science it is also a theory. I challenge you to study these so called facts you ll see that even top evolutionists have problems with his or her theory.
      You cant compare christianity with muslims. The US and western Europe are based on christian moral standards. Thats a known fact.

      February 3, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
    • freedom4IRAN

      we look to your leadership toward nonviolent resistance in Egypt, and
      are grateful for your message of unity to Iranian activists. We ask
      you now for your help in demanding nonviolence from the Iranian
      government as many risk their lives to mark our solidarity with the
      people of Egypt.

      February 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. edshaw

    It is a key a ally (Egypt) versus sworn enemy (Muslim Brotherhood)....
    Let's see now, who should I root for.....

    January 30, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      Ya, not a small point !

      January 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • marbani

      For years, the end of Mubarak's reign in Egypt was expected. During all this time Western diplomacy did little to prepare for an orderly transition. Now they are surprised of what is happening. This just shows the waste and inefficacy of western diplomacy in the world.

      January 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. egyptian

    Here is a way to update the world about Egypt if you have an Egyptian cell phone: call +442034682361 (FREE call), and then enter a Tweet on your phone. Tweets will appear on @egyptspeaks Beware that the service is free and does not use Internet or SMS and thus can be the only means to update on what's happening.

    January 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ushollywood


    January 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Melanie

    "In front of military tanks, people have gathered arm in arm outside the Egyptian Museum, protecting the famed building from looters." This is an incrediable report about the Egyptians love of country and love for their rich history.

    January 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J

    Leaders of nations are elected to their post by the people. Know what is so irresponsible about these leaders? They get so full of themselves so that when the people no longer want them in that post and they protest in chaotic fashion which results in looting and the roll out of the military, they don't have the patriotic sense to tell themselves, "man, I don't want my city and country to get all messed up just because of me. I need to step down before all hell breaks loose". Instead, what's probably going on in their minds is, "Dang. I don't wanna give up this plush office, my connections, my status, my comfy lifestyle! I'm gonna try and ride this out and try to figure out a way to keep my power!"

    January 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. valeria29


    January 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sidewinder

    Let the Egyptian people decide.

    Let go of what it means to the US. Let go of that and let the people of Egypt decide.

    This is their country.....and is that not what this is about?

    January 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rmiglobal

    Al Jazeera is a MI6 Operation.

    January 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marty

    Facts, that depends on perspective. We are all pawns of those who desire money or power, and we can do litlle to stop it. In the end we are all the same Americans, Egyptiam, Those who believe in a god and those who do not, we are all pawns.

    January 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. James

    You report what you feel is right for your view but not the truth. You go along with Obama that democracy is coming to Egypt he's wrong and so are you. You haven't reported the Egyptian troops are fighting on the border with Hamas . And don't you see it kind of funny the Arab league or what they are calling themselves now that's been fighting Mubarak is out for democracy now.

    You printed the nice words from Iran but there words are crap they are not out for democracy either. Were they rigged their elections. And last week in Lebanon Hezbollah took over backed by Syria who is in with Iran. But Obama feels we need a embassy in Syria . Why so when they feel it's time they become hostages. And what's next week Jordan falls.

    Or maybe they wait a couple month's and go after Israel then you hear the U.N and Obama don't shot at them you may hit someone. When the gulf war started Saddam fired rockets at Israel and Bush 1 told them not to do anything. What country would stand down and allow their people to be bombed .

    Now Israel is supposed to be friends and only demarcate state in the middle east. Don't you think the U.S would back them up . No when the flotilla went to Gaza a false tape was put out and everyone blamed Israel but thanks to the Arabs at the U.N the real tape wasn't allowed to be shown. But like many American are getting the real story on U-2 and other sites. They saw the truth and the captains statements.

    Best part was Obama is dealing with the prime mister of Israel walks out on him and goes have supper with his wife. Then it comes out his people were on board one of those boats in the flotilla. Could that be why other nations don't want to deal with us because we can't be trusted.

    And Obama our so called Commander-in-chief comes out and said's blockade's don't work. When the Kennedy's were out to get Obama in Caroline came out and said under Obama it could be a new Camelot because Obama is so much like her father. Looks like she didn't know her father. If President Kennedy didn't use a blockade Cuba could still have nukes pointed at us or been fired already.

    Could this be why our troops are coming back more now in body bags because of his rules of engagement. Obama is not a leader of our domestic issues or commander in chief. Bush wasn't any good with our domestic problems either but he was a good commander-in-chief he sent them to fight and they did.

    But under Obama they are targets. Take a look at Europe oh sorry you don't look there anymore. But lots of countries like France Germany the U.K and others are having riots and bombings but they don't tell you it was Arabs doing it. That's profiling . But it does come out. So why is it that in 2 year's Obama has taken in 80,000 Islamic Arabs and want to take another 80,000 in the next 2 years .

    Why only Islamic Arabs, catholic and christens are Arabs too but our embassy will not give then the visa's to come here. But they are being killed by Islamic Arabs our laws said's if their life is in danger they can come here. But they got to stay and get blown up. It's a matter of time what's going on in Europe and the middle east will start here.

    The bombings have started even those some has been stopped . But with-in a year their will be fighting in the streets and most Americans won't be ready because our government is covering up the truth and so are you. Maybe you should firer Anderson 360 who invites people saying it's fair and impartial then the one who got the facts and know what they are saying gets laughed at.

    Then he invites members of C.A.I.R and treats them like they are telling the truth. But ask them why head ones of C.A.I.R are in jail for terrorism and C.A.I.R is on court record as being involved in a crime. C.N.N was a great place to get news . They did excellent reporting on the Tiananmen Square attack in china you could be proud of that. So find reporters that can do the same job.

    January 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar


    January 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rikki knight

    I agree with those who state that the US should have no business in Egypt at all.....unless, the Egyptian Army starts murdering innocent, unarmed civilians. At that point , the US should prepare to take some action to protect the citizens from a massacre. ( Wish some of us could have stepped up and prevented the murder of thousands of innocent and unarmed citizens...including women and children..., in Iraq, and Afghan'n, and looks like Pakistan is next). What is occuring in Cairo today will be occuring in DC soon.

    January 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • 123

      Well who's to say whats happening here is anything but the next tiananmen square? If the US can step in now and stop millions from being killed, i say go for it

      February 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    We should all keep in mind that there were more murders, robberies, raypz and stores looted right here in the USA this week than in all of Egypt. It doesn't take a very vivid imagination to envision how things would be here if we were ever to rebel. Fortunately, about 1/2 of our workforce are gov. employees, so they won't rebel against their own paycheck. Those who cared to know how crooked our system is understand that taking to the streets is not a good idea and will just be met with overwhelming force. That leaves our sub-culture of lazy druggies and drunkkards who get paid in food stamps and social security disabilty checks, along with subsidized anti-psycotic drugs to keep them down. If the funding of these bassterds ever runs out, they will take to the streets like walking zombies in search of whatever, and should pose no real threat since their stupid.

    January 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    And we already deal with gangstas on a daily basis. They always take to the strets.

    January 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
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