Mubarak sacks government and vows reform

Friday 28 January 2011 23.02
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Protests - Egyptians have defied a curfew
Protests - Egyptians have defied a curfew
Hosni Mubarak - Sacked government and vowed to bring in reforms
Hosni Mubarak - Sacked government and vowed to bring in reforms
Tahir Square - Protesters gather in defiance of curfew
Tahir Square - Protesters gather in defiance of curfew
Egypt - Riot police fire tear gas at protestors
Egypt - Riot police fire tear gas at protestors
Cairo - Fourth day of protest in Egyptian capital
Cairo - Fourth day of protest in Egyptian capital
Hilary Clinton - Called on authorities to allow peaceful protests
Hilary Clinton - Called on authorities to allow peaceful protests
Protests - Egyptians have defied curfew declared by President Mubarak
Protests - Egyptians have defied curfew declared by President Mubarak
Dublin - Small protest outside Egyptian embassy
Dublin - Small protest outside Egyptian embassy
Mohamed ElBaradei - Reportedly placed under house arrest
Mohamed ElBaradei - Reportedly placed under house arrest

Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak has sacked Egypt's government and vowed to bring in democratic reforms.

In a televised address to the nation late this evening , he said: 'I have asked the government to resign and tomorrow there will be a new government.'

Mr Mubarak, in power for three decades, vowed to bring in 'new measures' for democracy and justice without giving any indication of other changes.

He said he was committed to economic and political reform and was determined to secure the stability of Egypt.

Mr Mubarak said Egypt should be aware of examples of instability around the country and problems should not be dealt with through violence or chaos.

Mr Mubarak's address came after a day of anti-government protests, in which thousands of Egyptians defied a curfew in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez declared earlier by the President.

He had asked the army to take charge of security along with the police.

Today was the fourth day of widespread demonstrations across Egypt in protest at the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak.

The curfew was to run from 6pm (4pm GMT) to 7am (5am GMT) until further notice.

But thousands stayed out on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez.

Thirteen people died in clashes with police in the canal city of Suez, at least five in Cairo and two more in Mansura, north of the capital with many fatalities caused by rubber-coated bullets, medics and witnesses said.

Seven people died on Wednesday and yesterday.

Thousands of riot police have been stationed at key points across the capital, Cairo.

The headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party was set on fire tonight, despite the curfew.

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Laureate who has called for an end to President Mubarak’s rule, joined the protests after Friday prayers.

There are reports that Mr ElBaradei has been placed under house arrest by the authorities.

In the canal city of Suez, protestors overran a police station, seized weapons and set fire to vehicles.

The United States may review its policy of providing huge military and other aid to Egypt in the light of the Cairo government's response to huge street protests, a US official said today.

'We will be reviewing our assistance posture based on events that take place in the coming days,' White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Egypt is one of the top recipients of US aid, receiving $1.3bn in military aid annually.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for restraint on all sides.

'We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications,' Ms Clinton told reporters in Washington, referring to the blocking of Internet social networking sites.

'These protests underscore that there are deep grievances within Egyptian society, and the Egyptian government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away.'

In Dublin, there was a small protest outside the Egyptian embassy today.

Separately, four French journalists reporting on the protests in Cairo were arrested today.

A BBC reporter said he was badly beaten by Cairo police who he accused of targeting foreign journalists covering the protests in the capital.

Elsewhere, US President Barack Obama has called on Mr Mubarak to make 'absolutely critical' reforms.

Commenting on the issue for the first time, Mr Obama was careful to avoid any sign of abandoning Mr Mubarak.

However, he made clear his sympathy for demonstrators, who he said were expressing 'pent-up frustrations' over the lack of meaningful change.