Egyptian Cabinet officially resigns after days of protests

Death toll in Egypt rises to 35, including 10 police; eyewitnesses claim police open fire as protesters gather in Cairo angry at President Mubarak; al-Jazeera reporter claims to see 23 bodies in Alexandia.

January 29, 2011 12:59
2 minute read.
An Egyptian anti-government activist

Egypt protests, topless man injured 311. (photo credit: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Egyptian state television on Saturday said that the Cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has resigned on the president's orders.

The Cabinet's resignation on Saturday follows days of anti-government protests and just hours after embattled President Hosni Mubarak told the nation in a televised address that he has decided the sack the Cabinet.

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Officials reported that the death toll in this week's unrest has risen to 35, including 10 policemen.

They said the death toll was likely to significantly rise as more reports come in from hospitals and morgues around the country. They also say that at least 750 policemen and 1,500 protesters have been wounded in clashes. The officials were speaking Saturday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share the information with the media.

The sight of protesters pouring into Cairo's downtown Tahrir Square for a fifth day indicated Mubarak's words in a televised speech shortly after midnight had done little to cool the anger over Egypt's crushing poverty, unemployment and corruption.

Police opened fire on a number of the protesters according to eyewitness reports, al-Jazeera reported.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt

Al-Jazeera also reported that one of its correspondents saw 23 bodies at the morgue in the Egyptian city of Alexandria following protests there on Friday.

In Suez, 1,000-2,000 protesters gathered and that the military was not confronting them, the news agency reported.

A military officer was quoted as saying that troops would "not fire a single bullet on Egyptians", regardless of where the orders to do so come from.

The officer also said the only solution to the current unrest was "for Mubarak to leave".

Overnight, the government called in military forces and by morning the army had replaced police in guarding government buildings and other key areas.

Several tanks were parked in the vast Tahrir Square, but soldiers did not intervene in Saturday's protest there. Not far from the square, the army sealed off the road leading to the parliament and Cabinet buildings.

Along the Nile, smoke was still billowing from the ruling party's headquarters, which protesters set ablaze during Friday's unrest, the most dramatic day of protests since the unrest began on Tuesday.

Also Saturday, mobile phone services were restored after a government-ordered communications blackout aimed at stopping Friday's protests. Protesters have used text messaging and social networking websites to coordinate demonstrations.

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