Protests in Egypt continued for the seventh day with thousands taking to the streets of Cairo demonstrating against the government.
Many protestors camped out in central Cairo last night, refusing to be deterred by the helicopters hovering overhead. They say they will not leave until Egypt’s president of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, stands down.
Many believe that the fate of Egypt now lies in the hands of the army, which has been drafted in by Mubarak to control the protests. Army generals are said to be considering their next moves.
Troops and tanks are still out in force in Cairo and in Alexandria, where more demonstrations are planned, the military presence increased overnight.
Over the weekend as protests in Cairo continued, tanks were deployed in city centre and the suburbs while jets flew back and forth overhead. However, troops made no attempt to break up the protests.
Ali Regal, a student activist leader in Alexandria, told CNN that the military was working closely with “the masses” to coordinate security.
“The army is very helpful and working with us,” Regal said. “There is a strong cooperation between the masses and the army, that’s what I can tell so far.”
According to state-run Nile TV, police forces are scheduled to resume their duties throughout Egypt on Monday. Police have been virtually absent from the streets since Saturday, after a brutal crackdown a day earlier when thousands of riot and plainclothes police clashed with protesters.
More than 100 people have so far died in Egypt’s protests.
Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei addressed the crowd in Tahrir (Liberation) Square over the weekend, joined the thousands of protestors breaking the curfew to demonstrate on the streets.
“Today, you are an Egyptian demanding your rights and freedom, and what we started can never be pushed back. As we said, we have one main demand: the end of the regime and to start a new phase,” lBaradei said.
US president Barak Obama has called for Mubarak to make a peaceful transition of power.