Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt: Day Six

Protesters have begun to gather in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria for a sixth day of Egyptian protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

There is a heavy military presence in the streets, a guard against the violence that has killed more than 100 people since Tuesday.

Egyptian official media say the government has ordered the closure of the Cairo bureau of Al Jazeera television, which has reported extensively on the riots. Al Jazeera said the move was designed to “stifle and repress” free and open reporting.

The protests involve tens of thousands of demonstrators in Egypt's major cities. Some 1,000 people have been wounded in the violence.

In another development, thousands of inmates are reported to have escaped from at least one prison during the melee.

Many residents of Cairo formed neighborhood watch teams to protect their homes from looters, despite an overnight curfew Saturday night.

On Saturday, Mr. Mubarak named intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as vice president – the first time the post has been filled in 30 years.

Egyptian opposition activist Mohamed ElBaradei reacted to Mr. Mubarak's moves by saying new appointments were not enough. In an interview with Al Jazeera, the Nobel laureate said protesters want a regime change and an end to what he called a dictatorship.

Military patrols have blocked access to Egypt's many tourist attractions, including the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the pyramids.

Published with the permission of Voice of America