Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and armed forces will now take over the leadership of the Egypt, vice president Omar Suleiman announced today.

As news of Mubarak’s resignations spread, crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted into loud cheers, chanting: “Egypt is free, Egypt is free.”

The announcement hails the end of President Mubarak’s 30-year reign. His vice president, Suleiman said:

“My fellow citizens. In this difficult time that the country is going through, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has decided to relieve himself of his position as president and the Supreme military council has taken control of the state’s affairs. May God protect us.”

Egypt protests mount

Mubarak to stand down says military

Mubarak’s resignation makes him the second Arab leader forced to resign by a  populist uprising. Last month, Tunisia’s president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali stepped down and in the face of massive street protests against his regime.

Mubarak’s resignation comes 18 days since the beginning of protests that have rocked Egypt.

The ex-president has now left the presidential palace in Cairo and according to ABC News, Mubarak had gone to an estate he owns in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, a figurehead of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”