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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soundoff (578 Responses)
  1. Asghar

    Iranian gov afraid of people unrest in Iran,that's why they mobilizing basij in Tehran's streets this morning.
    Mubarak rule is shaken and he has to is his counterpart in Iran Khamenei.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. 2Cents

    Iran is just trying to get good charma before their people go crazy also. Just a different way to brainwash.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • 2Cents

      Sadly people do believe his lies

      January 29, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ed Ward II

    The bigger picture is that this is a referendum on Obama. Freedom fighters throughout the world are protesting Obama's Big Brother shoot 'em up policies. And this is wonderful to behold.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • mpwrr

      What are you talking about, Obamaism? If anything, Obama supports the different leaders of the Arab nations.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. eric

    This is what happens when you get a nation in debt, high enemployment, increasing food prices, and a growing population dependent on government handouts. When that nation implements "quantative easing" or austerity measures, the people revolt. These types of revolutions are happening all across the globe. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION ALL YOU LIBERALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Asghar

    this is the power of people in Egypt,,game over for is Iran, Saudi Arabia,Jordan,Morroco and any stone age government anywhere in the world.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. james

    The police are firing on protestors but the army is backing off. Could the army turn on the police? The army is the key in all this and they appear so far to be siding with the protestors.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. mpwrr

    When the Police start shooting or killing their own people they have crossed the line and now become targets themselves. I would not be a bit surprised to see more police, expecially their secret "thug" police, end up getting shot, or killed in different ways. When the people turn out like this the present government has gone bad, control has been lost, and continued violence agianst the people will not return order, it only makes the situation worse and the results are more violent for the former leaders. If I were a former Government Leader I would be doing the "getting out of town" move as fast as possible before I was caught up in the revolution and dealt with by the people that I had messed over in the past.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. 2Cents

    People were jumping on the tanks and the Army were celebrating with the people. IDK ppl if police joins who will support the self proclaimed president?

    January 29, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Maxine

    @ Tamer – actually I have been there, if being born and raised there counts, and I do not have to defend my credibility by any means the copts are part of the protest indeed I realize that however, the porblem here is that they dont realize that with Mubarak they are getting the worse of two evils. What is to come if he is overthrown?? you answer this question you have dreams of a democracy but in this region, where the muslim brotherhood is the opposition party, indeed do you as a muslim really expect that. Your rights will not be changed becasue you are part of Islam, however for any minority religion or party for that matter they will suffer tremendously and will be eradicated by the new govt you will form. Shariah law will come and you will see, you would nt mind it I understand, however over 12 million of the indigenous people of the country will be left to rot. Humanism and democracy at its best.

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





    January 29, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • 2Cents

      Yeah this seems about...........right looking at what is going on. Reason why we need them to get on Facebook or twitter.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • 2Cents

      but if more violence is used more people will appear in protest

      January 29, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |

    if the protesters are smart thety will be smart about it and not committ crimes, then he will be forced to leave out of the shutdown of the government and economy...if there is too much disorder people will fall back on him for order and the whole uprsiing is going to be for nothing.

    January 29, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Voodoogal11

    The best way to get rid of Mubarak is kill him. He will not go voluntarily. people need to take the lessons of the French Revolution. Very few resources to be distributed and people continue to have off spring. The man has been in office for too long

    January 29, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |

    he is going to go for a 'strategy of exhaustion' where he lets the protesters whine and vent and then he hauls their ass to his side by virtue of dependence. .

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

    ive also heard he is not going to backdown......get prepared for fireworks. . .

    January 29, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. WEBSPY

    I think its rather obvious me not knowing the situation can still explain it this way. In the past 5 years me my family and friends have seen our mortgage/ rent sky rocket, hydro has raised 76% and now advised going up another 18%, Taxes raised 11%, Food has risen 29%, gas has gone up 23 cents @ the pump, and my pay since may 2006 has gone up O!

    A Nobel winner said "China is doing OK economically so the government stable. When China stops doing OK the people will turn on the Government they can kill allot but not all."

    I know were talking Egypt but the same can be said about all countries includeing Canada and the USA

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