Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Sunday, 30 January 2011

Egypt unrest: Day six as it happened


War planes fly low over Cairo

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Live coverage of the sixth day of anti-government protests in Egypt, which has seen thousands of demonstrators return to the streets nationwide. This page updates automatically, there is no need to refresh.

2355 That concludes our live coverage of Egypt's sixth day of anti-government protests but you can keep up to date with regular BBC updates here. Thank you for following developments on the BBC.

2347 Canada says it is chartering planes to get its citizens out of Egypt. Foreign minister Lawrence Cannon says the government is recommending that Canadians leave. He also called on President Mubarak to "listen to the aspirations of the Egyptian people".

2340 Khaled Said tweets: "Mubarak's plan now is to depend on Egyptians getting tired and hungry for food and security. Our plan is to survive. We're younger."

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2330 Karim Henain from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, writes: "Egyptian protesters do not represent all Egyptians. I am an Egyptian and I believe President Mubarak should stay in power till the end of his term in October."

2320 Britain's Foreign Office minister responsible for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, tells the BBC it is taking more time to get UK citizens through Cairo airport because the internet is down across the city, affecting the handling of bookings.

2252 Ashraf Khalil in Cairo tweets on the policing situation in the capital: "Yesterday the intersections were being organized by civilian volunteers. Today? Volunteers AND uniformed police officers together."

2243 Argentina becomes the latest country urging its citizens to avoid Egypt during the current crisis. The Argentine foreign ministry recommends its citizens "avoid non-essential travel until the situation returns to normal," a statement reads.

2234 Kim Ghattas, the BBC's US State Department correspondent, tweets: "In his phone calls Obama spoke of need for peaceful transition not of need for reform. Subtle call for Mubarak to leave?"

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2232 Les, from Tonbridge, Kent, writes: "Just got off the phone to my son in El Gouna - Hurghada. A number of businesses employing non-Egyptians (Australian, US, European) have sent them home suggesting they return in a month or so. Boat owners are stocking up with fuel and supplies in case things get worse, currently the situation there is stable. Money supply is becoming an issue as credit card systems are not working, local businesses are insisting on cash only but ATMs are also down. "

2231 Prakash K Ray tweets with wry humour: "The only Egyptian citizen obeying the curfew is Hosni Mubarak."

2205 The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says it's difficult to know how things will turn out in Cairo. The protesters will be back tomorrow, he says, and there seems little likelihood of a deal between Hosni Mubarak and the demonstrators.

2154 Nahlah Ayed tweets from Tahrir Square: "It's a quarter to midnight and the Tahrir square protesters suddenly break into energetic chants. Extraordinary stamina."

2147 Not to be outdone, former US President Jimmy Carter has had a say as well. The current situation was "the most profound situation in the Middle East" since he left office in 1981, Mr Carter told a Sunday school audience in the US state of Georgia.

2145 As we've heard all day there's constant diplomatic chatter running in parallel to the protests in Egypt. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates spoke to his Egyptian and Israeli counterparts earlier on Sunday, it's been announced. In addition, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke to Hillary Clinton on Sunday and plans talks with EU foreign ministers on Monday.

2133 The BBC's Tim Willcox has given a graphic and full account of the tense atmosphere on the streets of Cairo. If his tweets whetted your appetite, listen to the whole story here:

2125 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tweets from Tahrir Square: "Fabulous, giddy mood at Tahrir. Love the campfires. But 1 troubling thought: Tiananmen was the same before the shooting."

2113 Meanwhile, live TV shots of the square do show it is considerably emptier than earlier in the day. In recent days residents have returned to their homes amid fears of looting after dark.

Mohamed ElBaradei in Tahrir Square, 30 January 2011
ElBaradei spoke in Tahrir Square after dusk on Sunday
2106 An element of perspective on today's events: The BBC's Jim Muir, in Tahrir Square, says there was no sense that Mohamed ElBaradei was being carried along on a wave of euphoria on his entry to the square this evening.

Some of the people in the square saw him and heard him speak, but by no means all, our correspondent reports.

2103 Another tweet from the BBC's Tim Willcox: "Burnt out police vehicles on the streets. Molotov cocktails lined up by roadside. Volatile... but youths say they are sorry for chaos".

2056 The BBC's Tim Willcox tweets after arriving in Cairo: "Drive from airport to Cairo taking hours. Army and vigilante roadblocks every 50 metres. Live gunfire in front of us (looters) #egypt"

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2053 Christine Hassan, from Scotland, writes: "My husband lives in Hurghada. He and others had to sleep in his shop to guard it from looters. He says it is really bad. My husband was meant to pick his visa up in Cairo last week, no chance of that now. We are so worried when is this going to stop?"

2052 German Chancellor Angela Merkel is another world leader to have called Hosni Mubarak, it emerges. She urged him once again to restrain from allowing the use of violence against demonstrators.

2033 Negotiations will not be conducted with the government but with the army, Mr Nour tells al-Jazeera. They will push the army to try and help them in their cause, he tell the channel.

2032 Egyptian opposition politician Ayman Nour - an opponent of Hosni Mubarak who spent over three years in jail - tells al-Jazeera TV he and his allies have agreed to co-operate with Mohamed ElBaradei and the movement against Hosni Mubarak.

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2028 Osama Hossein from Cairo e-mails the BBC: "We need political change, but it's important to realise that a lot of people still see Hosni Mubarak as a national hero. A lot of people look at the youths and think they are being very naïve and are just taking to the streets because of what they saw happen in Tunisia."

2018 Louis B Lewarne tweets: "Curfew tomorrow from 3pm. Getting earlier and earlier every day."

2016 Details are now emerging of UK Prime Minister David Cameron's conversation with President Obama, and with King Abdullah of Jordan. "The Prime Minister and President Obama were united in their view that Egypt now needed a comprehensive process of political reform, with an orderly, Egyptian-led transition leading to a government that responded to the grievances of the Egyptian people and to their aspirations for a democratic future," Downing Street said in a statement.

2012 It's impossible not to raise an eyebrow at this: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is sending a plane - reportedly his own presidential aircraft - to bring Iraqi nationals safely home from protest-wracked Egypt.

2006 A quick logistical note. We've got more live BBC coverage of the situation in Egypt running in video at the top of this page right now. If you're seeing an old version of the video just hit refresh to see the live stream.

2003 The US is making plans for its citizens, according to the Associated Press: the US Embassy in Egypt says it is arranging to begin flying Americans out on Monday

1950 More details on Mr Obama's calls. A White House statement says: "On Saturday, 29 January, the president spoke to Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Today, he spoke to Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. During his calls, the president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

1940 US President Barack Obama calls regional leaders to discuss Egypt's crisis, the AFP news agency reports.

1928 Demonstrations in Alexandria seem to be winding down, the BBC's John Simpson in the Mediterranean port city says.

1914 Egypt's authorities order the curfew in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez to be extended from 1500 to 0800 local time (1300 - 0600 GMT), state TV reports.

1903 BBC Arabic reports that dozens of judges joined the protesters in Tahrir Square on Sunday. One of them, Hosam Makawi, accused the police of corruption and of destroying incriminating evidence.

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1847 Tessa in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada writes to say that the protests are having an effect there: "Hurghada has almost run out of fuel because it all comes from Suez and Cairo. There are queues at the few garages that still have fuel. Many boats have already run out. Food supplies are running short. My business partner has been telling me that last night for the first time there were protests in Hurghada on the Red Sea. Looters attacked the major supermarkets but local people have stood guard to protect the shops.

1841 It appears that the police, having been off the streets for most of Sunday, have now returned. There had been reports earlier that they would resume patrols on Monday, but Egypt's state news agency and al-Arabiya TV now say that deployment has already happened.

1816 He's a former Nobel peace laureate and former head of the UN's nuclear watchdog. But do you know anything else about Mohamed ElBaradei? Get up to speed with our updated profile of the man now spearheading Egypt's political opposition.

1803 Egyptian state TV just showed footage of Hosni Mubarak meeting with new Vice-President Omar Suleiman and the new Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. The meeting was to "set the priorities of the new government", the broadcaster reported.

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1746 Rasha, from Saudi Arabia, writes: "My two sisters are in Cairo and Tanta. They are terrified, crying in their locked and barricaded flats. Meanwhile the husbands are downstairs, manning the barricaded against any would-be looters. My young nephew, who normally likes to play with toy soldiers, now has a real big tank sitting outside his window, and he is terrified too. All the shops are gutted, and the family don't know where they will find food in the next days. The sooner this transition is over, the better for all of us. It would help if the international community would be more outspoken and forthright."

1743 Al-Jazeera TV has been ordered to stop broadcasting by Egyptian authorities. The channel's head of news spoke to the BBC's Newshour programme about the ban.
Read more tweets from BBC Newshour.

1738 Amid the protests, the BBC World Service is broadcasting across the Middle East. You can find radio frequency details on the World Service website.

1735 In new images emerging from Tahrir Square, Mohamed ElBaradei has been pictured speaking to crowds via a megaphone.

1732 A new turn in the protests, perhaps: police and security forces are expected to return to the streets tomorrow. The army has been the dominant presence throughout Sunday.

1717 A former US ambassador to Egypt and to Israel, Martin Indyk, tells the BBC that successive US administrations have tried to warn Hosni Mubarak to take account of the wishes of his people, and says that Barack Obama's White House now appears to have no choice but to side with the Egyptian people.

1711 As befits a man at the heart of a protest movement made popular by social media, Mohamed ElBaradei has tweeted a message to Egyptians : "We shall continue to exercise our right of peaceful demonstration and restore our freedom & dignity. Regime violence will backfire badly".
Read more of Mohamed ElBaradei's tweets.

1703 More detail on Mr ElBaradei's speech to protesters, via Reuters once more: "You have taken back your rights and what we have begun cannot go back. We have one main demand - the end of he regime and the beginning of a new stage, a new Egypt. I bow to the people of Egypt in respect. I ask of you patience, change is coming in the next few days."

1657 Just days into a return to his homeland, it appears that Mr ElBaradei - former head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA - is seeking a key role in the protests. But the Nobel Peace Prize winner is not widely seen as a popular figurehead - and is not generally famed for his public speaking.

1653 Widespread reports that Mohamed ElBaradei is now in Tahrir Square, with Reuters reporting he has begun to speak. "What we have begun cannot go back," he is quoted as saying.

1638 As we await confirmation of Mr ElBaradei's arrival, we've put together a gallery of some of the best photographs from another dramatic day on the streets of Egypt.

1630 It's 1830 now in Egypt, two and a half hours into the latest curfew, and darkness has fallen quickly on the protesting crowds. If Mr Elbaradei is going to address Cairo's protesters it will be a street-lit stump speech.

1628 Reports of Mr ElBaradei's arrival are now firming up, with al-Jazeera TV also placing him in Tahrir Square.

1623 Mohamed ElBaradei update: Reuters news agency now reports that he has arrived in Tahrir Square to join protesters.

1620 In Alexandria, the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson reports that people are becoming nervous about how things are playing out. Residents are worried about looting and about the availability of supplies, he says. There is also a sense that the government is now dealing with events in a different way, and that the crowds are concerned about the prospect of getting hurt if they stay out long beyond the curfew.

1600 Meanwhile, in a contrast to to the scenes of protesters and fighter jets that have dominated foreign media coverage, Egyptian state TV has been broadcasting images of Defence Minsiter Mohammad Hussein Tantawi inspecting the army units securing downtown Cairo.

1558 Much is now expected of Mohamed ElBaradei from some of the protesters. A BBC Arabic correspondent, Assad el-Sawy, is now reporting that Mr ElBaradei is on his way to Liberation Square, where he is scheduled to address the protesters.

1551 There have been a lot of strands to the story as the day has developed. We've now got a full account of Hillary Clinton's comments on the need for "an orderly transition" in Egypt .

1547 The full UK travel advice can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website .

1546 On the issue of travel, it's worth reiterating that the official UK advice is for Britons to avoid all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez - but there is no specific warning for tourists currently in the Red Sea region of the country.

1533 Mr Hague added his voice to calls for a transition to democracy in Egypt, urging free and fair elections, but adding: "It is not for us to choose the president of a country."

1531 Foreign Secretary William Hague tells the BBC the UK will do everything it can to get Britons who want to leave Egypt out of the country.

1526 Reuters has a full quote from Mr ElBaradei: "It is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today," he told CNN. "He needs to leave today... to be followed by a smooth transition [to] a national unity government to be followed by all the measures set in place for a free and fair election."

1512 And more from the Nobel peace laureate: he has reportedly told CNN that President Mubarak must leave the country "today" to make way for a unity government.

1507 A new comment from opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei, reported by the AFP news agency: The US is "losing credibility by the day" by support the Mubarak regime, the former UN nuclear chief says.

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1505 After footage of damaged antiquities was shown on al-Jazeera TV, Egyptologist Margaret Maitland, writing on The Eloquent Peasant blog , says she has been studying the evidence: "I've managed to identify a number of the objects shown damaged in the al-Jazeera footage, including statues of Tutankhamun and the mummies of his great-grandparents."

1452 Dramatic evidence of the passion on the streets of Cairo from crowds around the BBC's Lyse Doucet a little earlier today.

The BBC's Lyse Doucet on the ground with Egypt protesters

1450 In Tahrir Square, the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen notes that the tanks and fighter jets massed in front of the protesters were supplied to the Mubarak government by the US - something unlikely to endear the US to those taking to the streets, especially if Washington does not come out and openly oppose the president.

1442 Concern appears to be spreading into the world of business. Reuters reports that oil giant Shell is preparing to pull international staff and their families out of Egypt on Sunday.

1440 The new Secretary of Organisation of the National Democratic Party, Maged al-Sharbini, says Egypt's new cabinet will be announced in a few hours, BBC Arabic reports. More coverage from BBC Arabic .

1435 There is still passion and intensity among the crowds in Cairo, the BBC's Kevin Connolly reports from Tahrir Square, although he estimates the numbers are down slightly on recent days. The main demand remains for Hosni Mubarak to go and for an end to the Mubarak years.

1431 More from Hillary Clinton, who has done the rounds of US Sunday talk shows. "We want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate concerns addressed," she told ABC.

1424 Back in Cairo, al-Jazeera TV reports that protesters have painted a "Down with Mubarak" slogan in the midst of Tahrir Square.

1419 The full quote from Mrs Clinton to Fox News, reported by Reuters: "We want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought-out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government."

1417 In what appear to be some of the strongest US comments yet on the situation in Egypt, Mrs Clinton has also called for "an orderly transition", according to reports.

1411 As yet, Mrs Clinton tell US network ABC, there has been "no discussion" about cutting off aid to Egypt, stressing that Egypt's rulers need to refrain from violence against protesters.

1407 Meanwhile, in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken of her concern over events in Egypt. According to extracts of interviews given to US TV networks on Sunday, Mr Mubarak's reforms are the "bare beginning" of a much-needed list of reform.

1401 Reporters and eyewitnesses are describing the arrival of the fighters jets above Tahrir Square. The buzzing of the jets is incredibly loud, those nearby report.

1354 There are reports of renewed military activity in central Cairo: two Egyptian jets are repeatedly buzzing Tahrir Square, a helicopter is hovering nearby and a column of tanks has arrived, the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reports.

1350 Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif tells the BBC from Cairo that it is "in the interests of the country" that President Hosni Mubarak leaves, and says the country's mobile phone operators are "doing democracy a disservice" by agreeing to limit or block service.

1345 AhmedAlaa_SJ tweets: "Protesters say they will not move from Tahrir Square. They are asking the army to go arrest #Mubarak! #jan25 #egypt #cairo"

1332 Human Rights Watch says that looting is becoming a real problem in Alexandria. Peter Bouckaert, the organisation's emergencies director, tells the BBC World Service Newshour programme that some of it was a deliberate attempt by the authorities to frighten people: "Some of [the looters] are criminals who've been released from the prisons and we have confirmed reports that some of the looters are actually undercover policemen. So we're not quite sure how much of this is spontaneous and how much of it is an organised attempt by the government to create instability now."

1320 BBC Arabic correspondent in Cairo Khaled Ezzelarab reports that protestors in Tahrir Square have said they intend to carry march with the coffins of victims of the violence to the presidential palace on Monday if he does not step down.

1300 The US State Department advises nationals to avoid travel to Egypt and authorises the departure from Egypt of embassy families and non-essential personnel.

1245 Egyptian state TV broadcasts footage of dozens of prisoners escaping and being recaptured by the army. The prisoners are shown seated on the floor, many of them with their hands tied behind their backs. The newsreader also announces that the army has arrested 450 rioters in different parts of the country. The station also shows footage of confiscated rifles, AK-47 assault rifles, Molotov cocktails, ammunition, and knives, which the announcer says were to be used by "criminals to terrorise the public".

Dan Nolan of al-Jazeera tweets: "Packing our equipment. We have been kicked out of office. Jazeera only network being shut down according to these guys #Jan25 #Egypt"

1206 A coalition of opposition groups issue a statement asking Mohamed ElBaradei to form a transitional government. They call on the Nobel Laureate "during this transitional stage, to act in the internal and external affairs of the nation, and to form a temporary government… and to dissolve parliament and draft a new constitution which enables the Egyptian people to freely choose its representatives in parliament and elect a legitimate president." The statement was signed by the 6 April Movement, the We are all Khalid Said Movement, the National Assembly for Change and the 25 January Movement.

1157 Al-Jazeera's broadcasts via an Egyptian satellite have been halted. The Egyptian government had earlier ordered the Arabic TV channel, which has been showing blanket coverage of the protests, to shut down its operations in the country.

1154 Jack Shenker and Peter Beaumont in Cairo for The Guardian, describe the scene at a mosque that has become a hospital: "This place of worship is little more than a partially-roofed narrow passage between two tall buildings; now it has been transformed into a makeshift hospital, with blood soaking through the prayer mats."

1150 Egyptian state-owned Nile TV shows video of President Mubarak meeting top military commanders. By his side were Vice-President Omar Suleiman and Defence Minister Tantawi. The channel said the meeting took place in the "centre for military operations" to "follow up the armed forces' operations to control the security situation".

1145 Egypt's banks and stock exchange are to stay closed on Monday for a second day, the Central Bank announces. Stock exchanges in the Gulf drop sharply after opening on Sunday.

1116 The BBC's Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says there is deep concern behind the scenes in Israel. "One former ambassador said ministers were desperately running between meetings to form a future plan. One concern is the country's border with Gaza and Egypt's ability to maintain security along that border."

1107 The BBC's Kevin Connolly, in Cairo, says the army is playing an ambiguous role and does not seem to have clear orders, certainly not the crucial order to enforce the curfew. "There is a very febrile atmosphere - there is real fear, on the streets, that stories of prisoners being released and looters roaming the streets are being circulated to sap the will of protesters."

1100 The BBC's Lyse Doucet
tweets: "Army now checking everyone entering Tahrir Square. Long queues forming ..very orderly #Jan25".

1058 In Cairo one protester tells Reuters news agency that most of those doing the looting are policemen. "We are protecting the country," Medhat Shaker says. "We arrested a police officer and group of policemen looting and the majority of looters are policemen, and you can ask the military troops if you do not believe me."

'Jeremy Bowen: Vacuum of authority in Cairo'

1055 Majda72 tweets: "Protests have begun in Alexandria, chants are "No to Mubarak, no to Suleiman"#jan25 #egypt".

1040 Monasosh tweets: "Call from friend in Tahrir Square. Army is now blocking all entrances to it gradually gaining more power to control in/out flow of people #Jan25"

1032: The BBC's Rami Ruhayem, of the BBC's Arabic Service says: "We're getting reports of preparations for a large demonstration in Mahalla al Kubra, an industrial city north of Egypt. The city is home to many textile and gas factories. There was rioting last night near some of the factories, and reports of army reinforcements arriving at one of the main textile factories.

1023: The US embassy in Cairo says the state department is making arrangements for US citizens who wish to leave to be flown to Europe.

1020: Maajid Nawaz of the Arabic thinktank the Quilliam Foundation tells BBC World that the protests will not end until the president leaves.

1012: Turkey is sending two Turkish Airlines planes to Egypt to evacuate Turkish citizens, according to the country's state-run Anatolian news agency.

1006: Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera says that Egyptian authorities have ordered the closure of its offices in Cairo and elsewhere. Al-Jazeera denounced the move which it said was aimed at "censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people".

1003: The US embassy in Cairo is reported to have advised American citizens living in the country to consider leaving.

1000: The Egyptian army is reported to be guarding the deserted interior ministry headquarters in the centre of the capital, Cairo, after protesters attempted to force entry into the building last night, Reuters reports. All officials have been evacuated and two armoured lorries and a tank are on guard outside.

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