Egypt unrest: Your stories ,Demonstrations in Egypt




Chants urging Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to leave office are reverberating across Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered at the square, the focal point of protests in Egypt, for what they have termed the "Day of Departure" for the man who has been the country's leader for the last 30 years.

As the country entered its eleventh day of unrest, mass demonstrations commenced after Friday prayers.

Thousands also gathered in the city of Alexandria, holding up placards and chanting "He must go!" an Al Jazeera correspondent there reported.

Protesters there have said they will march to the city's main train station and stage a sit-in until Mubarak resigns. Our correspondent described the protesters there as an "ocean of people", saying they were peaceful and had "literally taken over the area that is by the library, the universities and the commercial centre".

Three thousand people also joined demonstrations in Giza.

Standoff in Cairo

In Cairo, about 200 Mubarak loyalists gathered on the 6th of October Bridge, near the square, with another 200 below the bridge.

They were chanting pro-regime slogans, and holding up posters of Mubarak.

Our correspondent reported that there was a short standoff between about 300 Mubarak loyalists and pro-democracy protesters in the Talaat Harb square, which is located on a street leading to the main protest centre.
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Tahrir Sq echoes with "Go Mubarak!" chant

People were throwing rocks at one another, and the Mubarak loyalists were eventually driven from the square.

Our correspondents at the scene reported that there were up to five layers of checkpoints at some entrances, with makeshift barricades being put up by pro-democracy protesters.

Soldiers on foot are very visible, and army armoured personnel carriers and tanks have taken up positions to control the 6th of October bridge entrance to the square, our correspondent said.

Another correspondent added that the army appeared to be placing itself so as to separate Mubarak loyalists from pro-democracy prosters.

"The atmosphere is not quite as triumphal as Tuesday's rally; people then said Mubarak would be out in a matter of hours, but now most of them think it'll be a long time," reported Al Jazeera's online producer from the square.

He added that protesters, a diverse array of men, women and children from various economic and religious backgrounds, fear an outbreak of violence.

"The feel here is that today is the final day for Mubarak, it's time for him to go," Gigi Ibrahim, a political activist told Al Jazeera from the square.

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's defence minister, also visited the square earlier on Friday. He talked with the protesters and other military commanders.

Amr Moussa, Egypt's former foreign minister and current secretary-general of the Arab League, also spoke to demonstrators.

Earlier, Ahmed Shafiq, Egypt's new prime minister, said the interior minister should not obstruct Friday's peaceful marches.

Also on Friday, Al Jazeera's offices in Cairo were attacked by "gangs of thugs", according to a statement from the network. The office was burned, along with the equipment inside it.

Egyptian state television has been reporting that the situation in Cairo is currently quiet and calm. They have not shown footage of the angry protesters.

Mubarak fears 'chaos'

On Thursday, Mubarak said he wanted to leave office, but feared there will be chaos if he did.

Speaking to America's ABC television he said: "I am fed up. After 62 years in public service, I have had enough. I want to go."

But he added: "If I resign today, there will be chaos."

Mubarak's government has struggled to regain control of a nation angry about poverty, recession and political repression, inviting the Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt's most organised opposition movement - to talks and apologising for Wednesday's bloodshed in Cairo.

In a bid to calm the situation, Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, said on Thursday that Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups had been invited to meet the new government as part of a national dialogue.
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The MB and other opposition actors, including Mohamed ElBaradei, have refused the offer for talks until Mubarak leaves office.

"We demand that this regime is overthrown, and we demand the formation of a national unity government for all the factions," the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement broadcast by Al Jazeera.

Mohammed Al-Beltagi, a leading member of Muslim Brotherhood, told Al Jazeera on Friday that his organisation has no ambitions to run for the presidency.

The developments come as the New York Times reports, quoting US officials and Arab diplomats, that the US administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for Mubarak to resign immediately and hand over power to a transitional government headed by Omar Suleiman.

This report, though unconfirmed by the White House, comes after Mubarak's statements on Tuesday where he agreed to give up power in September at the end of his current term.

Bloody clashes

At least 13 people have died and scores were injured over the last two days when Mubarak loyalists launched a counter-attack on pro-democracy protesters.

The army took little action on Wednesday while the fighting raged in Tahrir Square over the past two days.
Protesters chanted 'He must go!'

There was a more visible military presence on Thursday, but this did not prevent new clashes.

The interior ministry has denied it ordered its agents or officers to attack prior pro-democracy demonstrations.

Suleiman said that the government would not forcefully remove protesters. "We will ask them to go home, but we will not push them to go home," he said.

Ahead of Friday's mass protests, eyewitnesses told Al Jazeera that thugs, with the assistance of security vehicles, were readying to attack the square. They said protesters were preparing to confront them.

Protesters also reported finding petrol bombs on security personnel dressed in civilian clothes.

An Al Jazeera correspondent, who spent Thursday night in Tahrir Square, said "the numbers did not die down one bit" through the night, adding that there was an atmosphere of defiance amongst protesters.


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