Friday, February 11, 2011

Egypt crisis: Jubilation as President Mubarak departs

Fireworks lit the skies of Cairo and protesters shed tears of joy in Egypt as they celebrated the end of President Hosni Mubarak's 30 years of power.

Mr Mubarak stepped down as leader on Friday, after 18 days of widespread anti-government demonstrations.

The country is now is the hands of the high command of the armed forces, headed by the defence minister.

US President Barack Obama called Egypt an inspiration, but said it must now move to civilian and democratic rule.

Demonstrators in central Cairo continued to celebrate the departure of Mr Mubarak into the night, dancing, chanting slogans and singing songs.

In Cairo's Tahrir Square - the heart of the demonstrations - the news was greeted with jubilation by a crowd of tens of thousands.

A huge poster hanging in the square read, "Breaking news: The people have brought down the regime."

Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.

The anti-government protests that began on 25 January were triggered by widespread unrest in Egypt over unemployment, poverty and corruption.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo said the announcement caught everyone by surprise: all over the city, drivers honked their horns and people fired guns into the air.

"Egypt is free," Mahmoud Elhetta, a protester, shouted.

"We are a great people and we did something great. This is the expected end for every dictator." ...

via BBC News - Egypt crisis: Jubilation as President Mubarak departs.

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