Egypt unrest: Day 11 as it happened

  • Many thousands of protesters gathered for another day of protests in Cairo's Tahrir Sqaure, continuing to demand the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
  • The protests passed off peacefully after the army set up a cordon around the square.
  • The US has raised the pressure on Mr Mubarak, with President Barack Obama telling him to listen to the protesters and urging an "orderly transition that begins now".
  • President Mubarak earlier said he was fed up of being in power, but feared chaos if he stepped down immediately.
  • Live page reporters: Aidan Lewis, Michael Hirst and Joe Boyle.
  • All times in GMT.

0033That brings to an end our live updates from the 11th day of high drama in Egypt. You can continue to follow events with regular updates on the BBC news website throughout the night. Thank you for following developments on the BBC.

0025Dan Murphy, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, posits a theory against the mainstream: "The lack of a single obvious figurehead or organization behind the protests has been a source of strength."

0023The BBC's Europe editor has been pinning down the debate as it appears to EU leaders writing in his latest blog entry: "There are those who say it is in the West's interest to side with a new generation agitating for freedom and democracy. Those after all are the values the West signs up to. On the other hand are those who warn that once you begin dismantling power structures you may end up with an outcome you fear most."

0017The Associated Press weighs in with some analysis on President Obama's new stance, saying: "Obama, limited in his leverage to control events, appeared to adjust his tactics in making brief comments to reporters. Instead of just outlining Egyptian steps to halt the street violence and move toward a freer government, Obama openly played to Mubarak's pride and reputation."

0010Mr Mubarak's allies have been talking up the dialogue they say has begun with the opposition, but most of the opposition have spent the day denying being involved in talks. Hossam Abdallah from the opposition party the National Association for Change says Mr Mubarak "is an obstacle to the whole process", adding: "If it is fear for himself, if [he wants to] leave with dignity, this can be guaranteed."

comment from blogger
0007 International energy firms have been watching events in Egypt nervously, particularly in the area near the Suez Canal. This podcast from the Journal of Commerce goes a long way to explaining the issues around the canal.

0003The BBC's Chris Hogg reports from Beijing on how the protests are being reported in state media: "The censors in China are allowing journalists to report the unrest in Egypt, but not the reasons behind it. When the protests started the People's Daily, the Communist Party's official newspaper told its readers: 'Among the protestors there are some who are anti-government, some who want a higher salary or welfare, but many of them are criminals who just want to take the opportunity to engage in beating, smashing, looting or burning.' Since then the paper's been concentrating on concerns about the instability the protests are creating. That echoes a message the government here repeats often, that a popular expression of discontent can be dangerous."

2358 Yehia in Alexandria has been telling the BBC about how the protesters have set up neighbourhood watch schemes to protect themselves from attack: "The army are helping on the nightwatch by standing with us and giving us advice on where to watch for thugs. They are only taking part if something happens, like we catch someone and they need to take them away."

2354AFP and several witnesses report gunfire near Tahrir Square, no reports of any injuries.

2349Amid the repeated calls for a transition of power, Maha Azzam from Chatham House think-tank has a sobering analysis of the strength of opposition parties: "The general view across different social groups and political groups is that these parties are really weak, and that there is no leadership that could really rally the population towards political futures that are in any way radically different."

comment from blogger
2333For anyone of a technological bent, an intriguing update from Wagner James Au, writing on the New World Notes blog, on how anti-Mubarak demonstrators are getting on in the virtual world of Second Life.

2326Time magazine has this evocative image gallery of the protesters hunkering down for a night in Tahrir Square, taken by photographer Jacopo Quaranta.

2320 Ramy Raoof, in Cairo, Egypt tweets: "The Egyptian revolution is not ElBaradei, it's not Muslim Brotherhood, it's not a Facebook revolution. It is a revolution of the Egyptian youth."

2318Another compelling first-hand account of harsh treatment at the hands of Egypt's secret police, this time in the New York Times by reporters Souad Mekhennet and Nicholas Kulish, who say: "The worst part had nothing to do with our treatment. It was seeing - and in particular hearing through the walls of this dreadful facility - the abuse of Egyptians at the hands of their own government."

2314More on the activist George Ishak who outlined how the protests are to develop (see entry at 2112). He says: "The protest will remain in Tahrir Square all weekdays, while Friday of each week will begin with a demonstration like today. Second, this situation will remain till the president steps down and people achieve their freedom. Third, we encourage our great people to facilitate business in a way that keep the doors of earning a living open for Egyptian people."

2310A video has been posted on Youtube showing protesters breaking into song in Tahrir Square accompanied by a guitar.

2308Al-Jazeera reports on its blog that the Cairo bureau chief of its Arabic service has been arrested.

2247After some of the bullets fired during the protests were found to be stamped with "Made in the USA", the Guardian's Pratap Chatterjee has been looking at the connection between the Egyptian security forces and the US: "One thing is clear: the Egyptian protesters are well aware of the close ties between officials in Cairo and Washington and not happy about the US training and tear-gas shells supplied to the Egyptian military."

2245Arab experts at BBC Monitoring have been watching TV news coverage across the region, and have come up with some interesting observations. Libyan TV coverage of the unrest on Friday focused on the arrest of "six foreigners heading to Tahrir Square". Reports quoted Chinese news agency as saying three of foreigners were "US citizens of Dutch origin carrying Israeli currency".

2233For anyone just joining us at this late stage of the day, welcome. Here's a quick reminder of where we are now: thousands of people have stayed in Tahrir Square after a huge and largely peaceful rally. An opposition activist told the BBC the protesters may now scale back their presence, saying it was time to let people go back to work. President Obama has called on Mr Mubarak to listen to the protesters to begin the transition immediately.

2211For those of you deeply into US politics, Sarah Palin is due to make a speech to the Young America's Foundation, and Time magazine reckons she'll weigh into the debate about Egypt.

Amnesty tweets: "Breaking: Amnesty staff and other internationals have been released in #Cairo & returning to hotels! Awaiting complete details."

2149 The BBC's Jon Donnison says the Palestinian response to the protests has been confusingly mixed - Hamas don't like Mr Mubarak and want him to go, others support him because he backs Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while others have been inspired in turn to protest against Hamas. "All of this is a a pretty good indicator of just how fractured Palestinian politics is," says our correspondent.

2145 The Egyptian reporter who died of his wounds today after being shot a week ago has been named by various media sources as Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud.

2131 The political upheaval has had an immense impact on Egypt's economy, which was already struggling. One bank, Credit Agricole, has estimated the country is losing $310m (£192m) each day.

2129 Yehia Hassaan, in Alexandria, tweets: "Everything is now quiet. People trying to sleep and others on guard in outskirts"

2122 The UK has complained to the Egyptian authorities about the harassment of journalists and activists. Foreign Officer minister Alistair Burt said: "I unreservedly condemn any such action and call on the Egyptian government to clarify immediately the whereabouts of anyone who may have been detained and for them to be released immediately."

2119The BBC's Andrew North in Washington says President Obama's comments were a calculated ratcheting up of the pressure, and that the US has gone as far as it can without directly requesting him to step down.

2113Mr Ishak says any protesters who want to will stay in Tahrir Square but he ruled out a march on the presidential palace, saying the rest of Cairo was too dangerous.

2112News of a change in tactics from the protesters: veteran democracy activist George Ishak tells the BBC the protesters are making Fridays their main day of protest, and have agreed to let people get on with their normal lives.

2057State-run newspaper Al-Ahram says an Egyptian reporter shot during clashes earlier this week has died of his wounds, the first reported journalist death in 11 days of turmoil.

2045Rosemary Hollis from London's City University makes an interesting point about the future of Egypt, telling the BBC: "Any government, irrespective of its political colour, is going to have a huge task to create the numbers of jobs for a million Egyptians coming on the job market every year. You have disaffected graduates who can't find jobs, who are amongst those demonstrating in Tahrir Square. So the glory of the revolution and the toppling of Mubarak is going to be the high point."

2042More from President Obama: "Once the president himself announced that he was not going to be running again, the key question he should be asking himself is: how do I leave a legacy behind in which Egypt is able to make it through this transformative period? My hope is that he will make the right decision."

2039 Jan 25 Live tweets: "Dostor: Alexandria starts 1st day of open sit-in in Sidi Jaber sq. despite rain. Protesters: we will sit-in 80 days for 80-mil Egyptians."

2037The BBC's Barbara Plett reports from New York: "A spokeswoman for Egypt's UN embassy says the mission has complained to the secretary general's office about his characterisation of the situation in Egypt. Mr Ban has gone beyond expressions of concern about violence in the Cairo protests: he's called for bold reforms in Egypt rather than repression, and urged the Egyptian authorities to take immediate steps to meet demonstrators' demands for democratic change. The spokeswoman said Mr Ban was generally following America's lead in terms of the substance of his statements, but that his language was noticeably more blunt."

2030Reflecting the mood of today among international statesmen, Mr Obama says the future of Egypt will be determined by its people.

2027Mr Obama says the "simple truth" is that "the issues in Egypt will not be resolved by violence or suppression".

2024As you'll see on the live video, US President Barack Obama is holding a news conference with Canada's Stephen Harper. He is expected to take questions about Egypt.

2014Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq says in a statement that the protesters will not be removed by force, according to AFP.

2010The BBC's Jim Muir reflects on the day's protests in Tahrir Square: "Thousands of people stayed in the square for hours after nightfall. Many were planning to stay the whole night to keep up the vigil and the demand for President Hosni Mubarak to go. It was a long day of speeches, slogan chanting and prayers with probably more than a hundred thousand people filling the square. At one point there was prolonged cheering and excitement when a rumour went round that Mr Mubarak has stood down. But it turned out not to be true. Speakers told the crowd they would have to be patient."

2005Amid talk of the increasingly Islamic nature of the protests, one demonstrator, Ahmad, tells the BBC: "Us Egyptians, we are religious people, but we won't have our religion control us."

2003Egypt relaxes curfew - it will now run from 1900 to 0600, rather than 1700 to 0700, Reuters reports quoting state TV.

1958 Yehia Hassaan tweets: "Atmosphere in Alexandria is electrfyin. Joy defiance and determination along with singin poetry and speeches."

1957 Sarah Abdallah, who is protesting in Alexandria, tweets: "We refuse to talk to the government. We will stay here, right here, until Mubarak goes down."

1955Egypt's state-controlled news agency MENA has a slightly different slant on Amr Moussa's contribution to the day's events (see entry at 1507), headlining its report: "Arab League chief urges Egypt protesters to return home."

1951The US is keen to stress its diplomatic efforts in this crisis, and those efforts are continuing with the Pentagon revealing that Defence Secretary Robert Gates has been speaking by phone to his Egyptian counterpart on Friday.

1947Mr Sarkozy adds: "Of course 'contagion' is a risk, we're looking at that, but can we condemn an aspiration to democracy just because there is a risk? Of course not."

1947Interesting comments from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, reflecting the White House (see entry 1923), he says: "Egypt is sovereign in deciding how to move ahead. I'm not sure that we who are not Egyptian should try to meddle in this."

1943The BBC's Martin Asser has been looking at the importance of the media in Egypt's crisis. In a piece on this website he writes: "As Egypt's rulers struggle to handle the phenomenon of People Power in city centres, they have turned on the independent media in a classic display of 'shoot the messenger' behaviour."

comment from blogger
1933 John Defterios, writing on CNN's Business 360 blog about the economic impact of the protests, says: "The overwhelming calls for change will exacerbate the ingredient that brought us to this boiling point in Egypt - unemployment. And it is likely to get much worse."

e-mail sent in by reader
1932University professor Galal Hassan, who lives in Cairo, says: "There are some strong, powerful men involved and if Mubarak leaves, than their positions will be precarious. They have had certain privileges such as access to land that they will lose. But the president cannot leave just yet and the protesters have to realise that that is not an obtainable goal. The protesters need somebody to formally represent them and be involved in the negotiations."

1923More from Robert Gibbs on how much of a role America should play in Egypt's crisis: "I doubt there is anyone in Cairo looking for my definition of freedom of speech. That's not going to be determined here, that's going to be determined in Cairo."

1920White House spokesman Robert Gibbs tells reporters in a news conference there needs to be concrete signs of an orderly transition, "otherwise instability is going to increase".

e-mail sent in by reader
Penny Ridgley who lives in the Siwa Oasis on the border of Egypt and Libya says: "It is calm here in Siwa. The Egyptian police have left but several days ago the tribal sheikhs got involved and took over the area. Each tribe has set up a patrol of 15 and is hosting checkpoints. We do have a problem with intermittent petrol although we are not worried. There are virtually no tourists here. If things get worse, than I would maybe consider heading to Libya rather than into Cairo."

1903 Matthew Cassel, a photographer and journalist tweets: "Egyptian revolutionaries have turned Hardee's at Tahrir Square into a drinking water distribution point."

1859 Blogger Wael Abbas who has now been released from custody (see entry at 1709) tweets: "Army released us, but getting stopped by every single checkpoint."

1842Egyptian academic Mamoun Fandy says President Mubarak has lost touch, telling the BBC: "He is in the palace. He has that bunker mentality. He cannot see what is going on around him. He cannot see that he is no longer regarded as the major player in the Middle East."

1830More harrowing tales from journalists under attack in Egypt, this time Maram Mazen begins her report for Bloomberg: "Having a policeman say he wanted to kill me wasn't my most frightening moment yesterday in Cairo."

1821Tunisia's new government - ushered in by last month's mass protests that inspired the Egyptian uprising - announces that its state of emergency will be lifted next week, according to Reuters.

1815The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports on the changing composition of the crowd in Tahrir Square: "This did not start as an Islamic uprising, but the actions of the Mubarak regime have forced many of the middle class protesters off the street, and what is left is much more hard line."

1800The banned Muslim Brotherhood have been under particular scrutiny as the main opposition movement. They are Islamist, and have backed Hamas in the past. Spokesman Kamal El-Habaway tells the BBC they will respect the will of the people: "We are after free elections, whatever it brings to the front - government of president or parliament, we will definitely 100% respect that and we are dying to see freedom in Egypt."

1751There are also reports of widespread anti-government protests in provincial cities and towns including Alexandria, Suez, Port Said and Aswan. Al-Jazeera reported many thousands were out on the streets in all of those places.

1745A quick recap of the day's events: Many thousands of people are continuing to demonstrate in central Cairo, demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Earlier in the day, the army stepped up its presence and appeared to be co-operating with protesters to defend the entrances to the square. Around two thousand supporters of President Mubarak held a counter demonstration in another district but eyewitnesses say there have been only sporadic clashes so far.

1741If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of Egypt's political crisis. We're bringing you minute-by-minute updates from our reporters, as well as blogs, tweets and eyewitness accounts from across the country.

1737Latest from the BBC's Jim Muir in Tahrir Square: The crowd is probably about two-thirds of what it was at its maximum. There are still thousands of people here, milling about in the dark listening to speeches and so on, occasionally bursting into chants asking Mubarak to leave. I expect many of them have been relieved that after the days of violence they have spent today letting off steam. But some of them will be asking themselves where do we go now?"

comment from blogger
1729 Dominic Waghorn, writing on Sky News' Middle East blog, says: "Hotels near the square have also informed journalists they are not allowed on balconies overlooking the square and camera equipment has been seized by hotel security, apparently under instructions from the government."

1728 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Curfew in Cairo. Soldiers now stopping people from crossing Qasr Nil bridge towards Tahrir Sq."

1725Amr Moussa (see entry at 1626) is continuing to be coy about his presidential ambitions, or lack of them, telling the BBC: "I said as a citizen I continue to aspire to serve my country in whatever capacity. So the time will come for me and other to decide. I have not decided at this point."

1722Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq tells BBC Arabic that 80% of the demonstrators' demands have been met, adding that Mr Mubarak's decision not to run again is tantamount to the "departure" they have demanded.

1719Harlan Ullman, a close confidant of former US secretary of state Colin Powell, tells the BBC he thinks President Obama has handled the situation badly: "The administration started by sending confusing signals, and now by calling for Mubarak to go so publicly that may work very well with the opposition but it may not work very well for Mubarak's supporters and for people who are likely to replace him."

1715The Muslim Brotherhood has released several statements alleging their members have been beaten and abducted, one statement saying two of their online staff were "ruthlessly assaulted by the militias of the security services and some of their thugs on Thursday evening".

1713More on the Muslim Brotherhood: the group joins other opposition movements in denying they have held any talks with the current government.

1709 Wael Abbas seems to confirm his own detention, tweeting: "Arrested by the army!"

1708 Ramy Yaacoub tweets: "It seems that blogger Wael Abbas has been arrested by the army."

1705 CNN Breaking Newslink tweets: "Security force with "thugs" storms website office of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and makes arrests, group say."

1643More from Frank Gardner: "The key to all this is Omar Suleiman. The best hope for Egypt is for him to head some kind of caretaker government until free elections. But there are a lot of people interested in maintaining the status quo. We've seen massive institutional intimidation of the media and rights groups."

1641A sombre assessment of the progress of the day from the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner: "For the protesters, today has been a bit of a disappointment. Not the numbers, but that President Mubarak shows no sign of departing. And the secretary general of his party says there is no way he is going to go until he can arrange an orderly transition."

1636Mubarak supporters have been staging a rally in the upscale Mohandessin district of Cairo. But witnesses say the turnout numbers in the dozens rather than the thousands.

1630AFP reports that cleric Khaled al-Marakbi told Muslims during Friday prayers at Tahrir Square: "We were born free and we shall live free", while also asking them to show patience.

1626 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tweets: "Lots of people in Tahrir have mentioned Amr Moussa as a potential president. His trip to the square puts him play."

e-mail sent in by reader
1621Rosa Navarro, an American who was arrested and detained overnight at the Intelligence HQ, gives the BBC a disturbing account of her detention: "I went out with a friend yesterday to buy sim cards. We stopped by his house and while waiting for a cab we were approached by police officers in uniform. They asked us for our passports, released us and then came back two minutes later and we were arrested. We were interrogated and accused of being spies and in Egypt to bring down the Egyptian government. I was left blindfolded and sitting with around 50 or 60 other Westerners who had been picked up while waiting for a bus, or a taxi or just walking on the street. None of them, like myself, were arrested near the protest."

1617Reports of shots fired north of Tahrir Square, carried by CNN and Sky News, though no confirmation yet.

1607 Jan25 Voices tweets: "Eyes on pro-mubarak in Mohandessin. Numbers do not seem to be growing. Will they stay after curfew?"

1604The UN's rights chief Navi Pillay issues a statement making a new appeal to the authorities, saying: "Egypt must implement its international human rights obligations and prevent further violence. Protesters must be properly protected, including from each other. The security and intelligence forces must be held accountable. Change is coming to Egypt, as it came to Tunisia, but the violence and bloodshed must stop now."

1557The BBC website has collated reaction from the media around the Middle East, including a warning from Shafiq Nazim al-Ghabra in pan-Arab Al-Hayat: "The winds of change in Egypt will blow all over the Arab world, carrying with them a new Arab generation."

1552 Tarek A Sika tweets: "If anyone comes to Heliopolis that will be the end of many lives!! Presidential guards will KILL."

1549Hazem Abu-Watfa, host of BBC Arabic's Talking Point programme, says they have held a poll of listeners asking if Mr Mubarak should go now: 62% said he should, 38% said they wanted him to stay on.

1541 Al-Jazeera's Gregg Carlstrom tweets: "Egyptian state television running a long interview with a pro-democracy protester inside Tahrir Square. A big shift for them."

1534 Al-Jazeera's Sherine Tadros tweets: "ROARS of happiness from protestors in Tahrir as rumour circulates Mubarak stepped down but it was NOT true, people disappointed now#egypt #jan25."

1533 Dominic Waghorn from Sky News tweets: "Sustained gunfire in Cairo north of Tahrir square. Possibly an exchange of gunfire not just warning shots."

comment from blogger
1532 Danielle Pletka, writing on The American, the blog of the American Institute for Enterprise, says: "The Egyptians can certainly elect whom they wish, but they cannot do so and continue to enjoy billions in support from the American taxpayer."

1531A quick recap: The centre of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, is filled with people calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. In Tahrir Square, the protesters have been waving flags and singing patriotic songs. There were reports of some brief scuffles and stone throwing earlier, but the demonstration has otherwise gone peacefully.

1526Thanks to those reading for following this dramatic story in Egypt with the BBC. We'll continue drawing together minute-by-minute updates from Cairo, Alexandria and across the country, collating correspondents' reports, analysis of events, links to interesting sites elsewhere on the web, and your reactions from around the world. Please send us your thoughts - we'll publish what we can.

1522 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Curfew in Cairo. Soldiers now stopping people from crossing Qasr Nil bridge towards Tahrir Sq #jan25 #egypt"

1520The BBC's Jim Muir at Tahrir Square says shots were heard in the distance but no reaction from the crowd in the square. The scene there is still one of peaceful protest.

1516The BBC's Tim Willcox saying that shots can be heard in central Cairo.

1510 Sandmonkey tweets: "Some protesters are demanding a march on the presidential palace and people are discussing it. #jan25."

1507 The secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, has been telling the BBC World Service why he joined the anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square today: "The demonstrators have their voice loud and clear in asking for change and asking for reform. They are asking for a new era in Egypt and those demands and aspirations, I do share. Egypt needs a new beginning."

1505We've had a few pro-Mubarak comments, so to balance things out, here's the head of the Egypt's Democratic Front, Osama al-Ghazali Harb, with his view of President Mubarak: "He's lost his legitimacy, he lost the respect of his people. I don't see that there is any alternative but to leave," he told the BBC, rejecting Mr Mubarak's statement that the country would be plunged into chaos if he stepped down immediately. "Egypt is in chaos already now, simply because of his presence. In fact he is now the main source of instability and chaos," said Mr Harb.

1458 Hannah Allam tweets: "Out of square now. Saw 2x where crowd surrounded suspected pro-Mubarak guys, gave them to army. Otherwise calm where I was. #jan25"

1455And Mohammad Ibrahim Kamel, a prominent Egyptian businessman who is close to President Mubarak, just told BBC Arabic radio's Akram Shaban that Mr Mubarak will not leave power before the end of his term, and will not cave in to external pressure from US President Barack Obama or anyone else.

e-mail sent in by reader
1452Emad Kamel in the Egyptian city of Quena says there have been no protests there as everyone is pro-Mubarak: "People here in Qena are standing by Mr Mubarak - I support him. We like him and no-one wants him to leave. The media have just been focussing on Tahrir Square and not reporting on what is going on in other areas of Egypt. The culture of Egyptians is not like in Tahrir. What you see in Tahrir is only one part of Egypt. Not everyone is there. There are 80 million people who are with Mr Mubarak."

1450The BBC's Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says: "The people on the streets feel they have momentum behind them, they have the initiative. They've forced the president to make several concessions but they are still waiting for the ultimate concession and that it still not forthcoming. But how that will be resolved, we may find out within the next 48 hours. There's a sense that Mubarak can't hold onto power any longer than that."

1447Former trade and commerce minister Rashid Mohammed Rashid Hussein has been barred from leaving Egypt and had his accounts frozen, Egypt's state news agency says. These are measures that were reported against several other ex-ministers on Thursday.

1442More from EU leaders: they say a transition to a broad-based government must start now.

1440EU leaders call on Egyptian authorities to meet the aspirations of the people with reform and not repression, Reuters reports. They call on all parties to engage in "meaningful dialogue" towards free and fair elections.

1436And Professor Maged Boutros, a member of the ruling NDP party, has voiced his views about the anti-government protesters to the BBC World Service: "We are talking about a large number of demonstrators who want to impose their will on a state that is made up of institutions," he says. "There is a constitution in Egypt that states that when you have a president, you have a transition of power through legitimate institutions."

1435The BBC's office in Cairo has received several calls from people expressing their support for President Mubarak. One caller said: "I'd like to say that those in Tahrir do not represent the Egyptian people. The Egyptian people are many more than that. But most Egyptians don't know how to use the internet or computers or communication tools. All the people sitting at home, in rural areas, in the provinces, don't know how to use the internet. That's why their means of communication are limited. There are so many people who like Mubarak."

1431More from Wyre Davies in Alexandria (see 1420 entry): "A number of armed police - uniformed and plain clothes - were seen near the main square and several hotels in the area were told, under no circumstances, to allow in foreigners or journalists. As we approached the square, under the watchful eye of several demonstrators, I saw a secret policeman being dragged away by the crowd, beaten up and bundled into a car - we don't know what happened to him next."

1428The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says there appears to be stalemate. People want the regime - not just President Mubarak - to go; Mr Mubarak is saying he will go, but he also says the regime is staying, because this is the best bulwark against Islamism.

1424 Ethar El-Katatney tweets: "People are deleting friends on facebook over differences in opinion. If we can't agree 2 disagree now how will we live in a democracy? #jan25."

1420The BBC's Wyre Davies has the latest from Alexandria, Egypt's second city. He says the atmosphere there is much more tense and angry than in Cairo. There are more tanks and troops in the streets, but not in the main square where protesters gather. The protest today was not as big as the one on Tuesday, but several thousand people did turn out.

1412The BBC's Jim Muir gives his impression of the mood in Cairo's Tahrir Square today. He says that following the running battles of yesterday it has become more relaxed and there are some families coming out to join the demonstration. But he notes that it's not quite as festive as earlier in the week - people are still mistrustful.

1409 Writer Pakinam Amer tweets: "So if you're transporting meds in large quantities, take care & avoid telling army they're for #Tahrir or you may not pass #Jan25 #Tahreer."

1407 Mostafa M Gaafar tweets: "After arguing for 1 hour with my parents, I can't go to #tahrir square, it's 'too dangerous' #jan25 #egypt."

1406From UN human rights chief Navi Pillay: "I strongly condemn the attacks and the arbitrary detention of journalists, their treatment by security agents and military checkpoints. This behaviour is outrageous and illegal. The role of the media is vital and the authorities must facilitate their work and take concrete actions to prevent further assaults against them."

1359Mohammad Rifaa Tahtawi, the spokesman for the Al Azhar Islamic institution, has resigned after announcing his support for the protests. He said he does not want his position to be seen as representing Al Azhar.

1353 Also in Tahrir Square is 75 year old retired UN official, Syed Zulfiqar, who tells the BBC World Service: "This is exceptional. I never expected that after 60 years of dictatorship, suddenly the people would wake up and have the courage to rise because the secret police are ferocious and they have been able to keep them at bay. Tunisia set the example, it set the spark. And obviously this was a tinderbox that was about to explode."

1351 Journalist Bel Trew tweets: "Riot in Talat Harb, right next to me. Can see rock throwing and iron rods. Military guiding us through. #jan25."

1349 Blogger Ali Seif tweets: "if more people swarm in, we will have to stand on eachother's shoulders to fit everyone #jan25."

1347 Forty-four year old businessman Amer in Tahrir Square tells the BBC World Service: "I came today to join all the honest people of Egypt, raising their voices for a free Egypt. No more corruption, no more domination. I live very comfortably but I feel very sad for the poor people around me. What's the meaning of living in comfort when all the people are suffering? So I'm here today to stand by the people."

1344 From Beirut, Patrick Galey tweets: "Large turnout expected in Bir Hassan, Beirut outside the #Egypt embassy in solidarity with protesters in #Tahrir #jan25"

1342 The US says it's in discussion with Egyptian figures about an orderly transfer of power from Mr Mubarak. News reports say one option is that he would resign immediately and hand over power to a three-man constitutional council.

1337 Sandmonkey tweets: "Isn't there a single Father from the egyptian Coptic church there? They need to be now. #jan25"

1332 The BBC's Khaled Ezzelarab reports there has been a stone-throwing clash between protesters in Tahrir Square. Meanwhile, the BBC's Islam Saad says around 2000 supporters of Mr Mubarak have joined the Mustafa Mahmoud Square demo. He says: "They are waving Egyptian flags and chanting: 'Yes to Mubarak, yes to stability. 30 years of peace.'"

1329 From the BBC's Mark Georgiou in Cairo: "State TV has a split screen showing live shots of a pro-Mubarak rally on one side and the scene in Tahrir Square on the other. They describe the first as pro-stability and pro-dialogue and the latter as demanding political reforms. So, at the moment the two sides are busy with their separate rallies. The Tahrir Square crowd aren't going anywhere. Across town Mubarak's supporters are gathering.

1325 Al Jazeera's Evan Hill tweets: "Talaat harb square east of tahrir is chaos now but the barricade itself not under attack, the fighting is in the street."

1321 The BBC's Lyse Doucet has been speaking to one protester who has brought her young son along to Tahrir square, saying: "I see that this is part of educating my child, how to speak out, how to say his word. I don't want him to be a coward. I want him to be a brave man when he grows up. I will never put him in danger but he has to come and see that people can speak out and be brave."

1319 BBC Arabic correspondent Amr Gameel says there is a pro-Mubarak demonstration in Mustafa Mahmoud Square in Cairo's al Muhandiseen neighbourhood. No clashes have been reported.

1315 Egypt's Finance Minister Samir Radwan says the country has suffered huge economic losses due to the protests, but tells Reuters TV the government would honour all financial commitments once banks reopen on Sunday.

e-mail sent in by reader
1313 Margaret in Giza says: "I haven't been out of my house since Monday. While the days are calm, at night it is scary with sounds gunfire. The men go out to protect the small family houses on my street. Everyone is taking responsibility and it has been wonderful, empowering, and very humbling. At the beginning of the protests there was a demonstration in Pyramid Street but since then, it has been quiet - people have been keeping their heads down. Thugs are completely able to do what they want and the secret police are more like an army of control - I think most of the trouble stems from them."

1311 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Queues into Tahrir Sq now longer than bridges #egypt #jan25."

1309 Mosa'ab Elshamy, an anti-Mubarak protester in Tahrir Square, tells the BBC World Service what could happen if the day ends with Mubarak still in office: "Today we call it the Friday of departure. If not, it could be the Saturday of departure or it could be the Sunday. We have no other option but to stay in Tahrir Square, for those who were killed and for those who led the lines and died here in Tahrir."

1307 The BBC's John Simpson in Cairo says the make-up of the crowd is interesting - there are few women and children, it's mostly younger men who know they might have to fight their way out at some stage. There are also more Islamists in the crowd.

1301 Thanks for following the latest from Egypt with the BBC. We'll be bringing you minute-by-minute updates from Cairo, Alexandria and across the country, collating correspondents' reports, analysis of events, links to interesting sites elsewhere on the web, and your reactions from around the world. Do send us your thoughts - we'll publish what we can here.

1256 Referring to the prospect of an Islamist-style take-over in Egypt, Middle East commentator Mishaal Al Gergawi tweets (in three takes): "Two things about a radical Islamic republic emerging in Egypt: 1) Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has become significantly moderate and hasn't been involved in terrorist attacks; 2) Muslim Brotherhood isn't a majority in Egypt, there are the youth, other groups, the Copts and the army. #Jan25"

1251 More from Mohamed ElBaradei's interview with the BBC's Newshour programme. In response to President Mubarak saying there would be chaos if he left right now, he says: "This is the narrative of a dictator. He has to leave in six months and we will have to go through the same process, a transition of power. If there is chaos today, why wouldn't there be chaos in six months when he has to leave by law. This is no argument; this is someone who is trying to prolong the shelf life of a toxic regime."

1248 Rami Raoof tweets from Cairo: "The internet connection (3g) is very very slow. Its difficult to access the internet from here around Tahrir Square. #Egypt #Jan25."

1247 Leading Egyptian opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei tells the BBC World Service: "Mr Mubarak has lost legitimacy, Mr Mubarak needs to go. This is a united voice coming from almost every single Egyptian, right, left and centre. And I hope he will listen to that, leave in dignity and get Egypt to go on with its life. A new life based on democracy and social justice."

1245 Al-Jazera English tweets: "Al jazeera Arabic's Cairo office has been stormed by unknown men and the office has been trashed #Egypt #tahrir"

1241 If you're just joining us, greetings. To bring you up to speed, there are huge crowds in central Cairo, once again calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. In Tahrir Square, the protesters have been chanting, waving flags and singing patriotic songs in one of the biggest rallies we've seen during Egypt's 11 so-called days of rage. The atmosphere remains calm, but defiant. Soldiers are out in force and have cooperated with protesters to form multiple cordons on the entrances to the square. There's no sign of the groups of Mubarak supporters who clashed with the protesters on Wednesday and Thursday. There is also a large protest in Alexandria, where the situation seems more tense, and other rallies are reported elsewhere in the country.

1235 The BBC's Wyre Davies in Alexandria: "It's a very tense situation here. More soldiers and tanks at prominent positions in Alexandria - there were a number of armed police and plainclothes policemen near the main square. One secret policeman near the square was identified, beaten, bundled away and driven off in a car. The anti-government protesters say they will not move until Mubarak goes, but there's a much more visible police presence here.

1229 From the BBC's Paul Danahar in Tahrir Square: "While people are no doubt jostling behind the scenes for a role in a transitional government it's worth saying that the whole week I have been here I haven't heard anyone chant the name of any other politician but Mubarak and that was "Mubarak Go". The crowd obviously don't see Amr Mousa or ElBaradei etc as their natural leaders if their chants are any indication of popularity."

1227 Sharif Kouddous tweets: "On a balcony now with birds-eye view. Tahrir is an ocean of people. This is simply massive. #Egypt"

1224 Prominent activist Asma Mahfouz, one of the Tahrir Square demonstration's leaders, says she has received death threats from members of the ruling NDP party. She told BBC Arabic TV: "I made a video asking people not to be scared, asking how long will we live in fear, that we should go to the streets and that there are plenty of men in Egypt, and we can protect ourselves from Mubarak's thugs. But now I'm getting many threatening calls from Mubarak's people ordering me not to leave my home, and saying that if I do I will be killed along with my family."

1220 The White House says it is in discussions with Egyptian figures on an orderly transfer of power from Mr Mubarak. Press reports say one option is that the president resigns immediately and hands over power to a three-man constitutional council. US officials haven't denied this, but they stress many different options are being considered and that all decisions must be made by the Egyptian people. The head of the US military, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen says he has been speaking with his Egyptian counterparts. Speaking on US TV, he told The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: "One of my chief goals right now it to make sure we keep the lines of communications open, I have talked to my counterpart a couple of times. And also that we've got our military ready, should any kind of response or support be required."

1217 Sultan Al Qassemi, a columnist for The National, tweets: "El Baradei: I met with nine protest leaders last night. When they left my house they were all arrested, these are Mubarak's promises #Jan25."

e-mail sent in by reader
1210May El Tabbakh in Alexandria wants security to be restored in her area: "I have been locked in at home for more than a week now. I've heard gunshots and struggles outside. All the men on our street are armed to protect their homes. Neither my husband nor other men here have slept. Also, there are prisoners on the loose which is a big issue. People have not been able to go out to work. The well-off are OK as they have stored food. But the poor are really suffering - they are starving."

1206 Mosa'ab Elshamy tweets: "Mixed feelings towards Arab League General Secretary, Amr Moussa. Was met by HUGE cheers and few boos. #Tahrir"

1205Al-Jazeera reporting that Arab League head Amr Moussa, who said earlier he'd consider running for the presidency, has joined protesters in Tahrir Square.

1201UN human rights chief Navi Pillay calls for a "transparent and impartial" investigation into the recent violence in Egypt.

1157Jamal Moheb, a doctor who has been treating those injured during clashes on Thursday, said some have been treated for gunshot wounds: "We have firearms injuries. 6mm and 9mm bullets were used. The people here still have bullets in their bodies."

1150 Dima Khatib tweets: "More than 100,000 protesters in Mansoura. They want Mubarak not just out, also put on trial."

1148The BBC Arabic correspondent in Gaza, Shuhdi el-Kashef, has been trying to get reaction from Hamas to the events in Egypt, with no success. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah refused to comment, and did not show up for the Friday sermon as he usually does. Prominent Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar also said he will not comment now, and will wait until a clear picture emerges.

1142Mr Al-Aryan also described the kind of government the Muslim Brotherhood wants in Egypt. "We want a civil state, based on Islamic principles. A democratic state, with a parliamentary system, with freedom to form parties, press freedom, and an independent and fair judiciary."

1141Issam al-Aryan, a senior figure in the banned Muslim Brotherhood, has told the BBC that the movement did not have a candidate for the presidency, saying it prefers consensus on an opposition candidate.

1138The BBC's Jim Muir says lots more people are trying to get into Tahrir Square but there's a bit of a choke point at an entrance. Thousands waiting outside. Friday prayers have now finished.

e-mail sent in by reader
1133May AbuBasha in Cairo says: "The Egyptian media is trying to brainwash us; they are reporting that the protesters against Mubarak are very few and the ones pro-Mubarak are numerous, which is not true. They are [saying] that protesters are either pushed by foreigners to disturb stability in Egypt or others who have a hidden agenda, which is also not true. Most of the time they are airing songs that praise Mubarak and they are talking about his establishments and how that he is so vital for Egypt's stability and prosperity."

1128 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Protestors' demand summed up in 1 word on banner Tahrir Sq: "Leave" #july25 #egypt"

1122Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has made comments that sound very different in tone to those by other Western leaders. "I hope that in Egypt there can be a transition toward a more democratic system without a break from President Mubarak, who in the West, above all in the United States, is considered the wisest of men and a precise reference point," Reuters quotes him as saying. "I hope there can be continuity in government."

1118Eugene Rogan, head of Oxford University's Middle East Centre, tells the BBC World Service: "The protestors are calling this the day of departure and they are getting covert support through the Obama administration who seem to be sending exactly the same message: that President Mubarak should really be making plans for an immediate departure from Egypt's political scene."

1110The BBC's Paul Danahar says: "I'm sitting on a smashed up truck used by the anti-government protestors as an observation post. In front of me where yesterday, rocks and stones landed at my feet, is a totally peaceful scene. The army have created a no-mans land with rows of barbed wire and soldiers. A tank is parked on the flyover. A helicopter is circling overhead. The pro-government groups are nowhere to be seen.

1008President Mubarak was saying yesterday that if he stepped down there'd be chaos in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood would take over - a line the president's critics say he has used during his 30 years in power to frighten the West into continuing to back him. There's been much speculation about the intentions of Islamists in Arab countries that have seen unrest. Here's a recent view on that subject by the prominent scholar Olivier Roy, written in light of the "Jasmine Revolution" in Tunisia.

1105 Amr Adel Amin tweets from a road near Tahrir Square: "So many people here we can barely get past the bridge."

1103 Numbers are continuing to swell in Tahrir Square. Many people came for Friday prayers, but more are crowding onto the site to join the protest.

1059 Take a look at our gallery of the latest pictures from Egypt.

1057 From the BBC's Paul Danahar in Tahrir Square: I'm sitting on a burned-out truck used by the anti-government protestors as an observation post. In front of me where yesterday rocks and stones landed at my feet, the army have created a no mans land with rows of barbed wire and soldiers. A tank is parked on the flyover. A helicopter is circling overhead. The pro-government groups are nowhere to be seen.

1054 Gigi Ibrahim tweets: "Many people are crying now as they are praying for the dead... Amazing scene here. I am living through a historical moment."

1051 The BBC's Lyse Doucet meets 11-year-old Abdullah in Tahrir Square, who says: "I want my country to be the best in the world." His parents brought him here because they wanted to show him people can speak out, adds our correspondent.

1048 Amr Waked tweets: "Almost 1,000,000 already in Tahrir square! Besides immense other amounts on Kasr el-Nil bridge. Historical day for sure!"

1046 The secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, says he would consider running in elections to replace Mr Mubarak.

1044 There's now a wall of sound in Tahrir Square as prayers end and chanting breaks out against the regime. It's a cacophony of noise as the rally begins again in earnest, protesters pointing their fingers in the air and repeating: "He's leaving! He's leaving!"

1042 Hamish Macdonald from Ten Network Australia tweets: "Just got detained by military behind #egypt TV building. Captives there cable tied and being tasered. #6PM."

comment from blogger
1039 From Alexandria, an interesting piece in the Los Angeles Times on the feeling among Egypt's Coptic community. Copts have been protesting against the Egyptian president's rule, but remain concerned things could be far worse if Islamist groups gained power, it says.

1035 Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie says his group is ready for talks on a transition government after the departure of Hosni Mubarak, Al-Jazeera reports.

1033 From the BBC's Paul Danahar in Tahrir Square: Where yesterday I followed the anti-Mubarak protesters through their barricades as they chased the pro-government groups away, there is now a field hospital. Broken fences and gates have been used to cordon off an area. Inside 10 people in white coats are tending head wounds etc from yesterday's fighting.

1031 Tens of thousands are now taking part in Friday prayers in Tahrir Square.

1028 Sherine Tadros tweets: "Was checked over ten times coming into the square by protestors. v cordial and organised, they're trying to make people feel secure #jan25."

1026 From BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner: Tellingly, one Arabic banner now showing in the live TV shot of Tahrir Square reads: "The people want the downfall of the system", ie not just Hosni Mubarak the man.

1024 More from Iran's supreme leader, Ayotallah Khamenei; he urges Egyptians to set up an Islamic regime in their country, lashing out at the embattled Mr Mubarak.

1022 The BBC's Jim Muir in Tahrir Square estimates the size of the crowd there at tens of thousands. He says the mood is very different to that on Thursday - the anti-government demonstrators no longer feel they're under attack. The army's defensive perimeter around the square has stabilised the situation, he adds, and the pro-Mubarak factions seem to have disappeared into the woodwork for now.

1020 The situation in Tahrir Squareremains relatively calm at the moment and Egyptian Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi has visited the site inspecting the troops and talking to protesters. Mr Mubarak said on Thursday there would be chaos if he stepped down now, warning that the banned opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, would take power.

1018 Thanks for following the latest news from Egypt with the BBC. If you're just joining us, welcome. Here's a quick recap: Tens of thousands of Egyptians are gathering in the centre of Cairo for another rally against President Hosni Mubarak. Soldiers are out in force, wearing flak jackets and helmets, and have used razor wire to form a cordon around Tahrir Square. On Wednesday and Thursday, it was the scene of fighting between supporters of the president and anti-government protestors.

1016 Paul Danahar: "There are long orderly lines of rocks and stones to be used as ammunition against the pro-government groups if fighting breaks out."

1014 More from the BBC's Paul Danahar: "There is incredibly tight security getting into the square. Four separate army checkpoints with barbed wire and many more troops than any day of the protests so far. Inside the square the demonstrators have set up another checkpoint five man deep to check bags and ID again. The mood inside the square is jubilant, the crowd seemed energised by their numbers. Any hope the government may have had that their concessions this week would end the protests seems lost if today's turnout is any indication."

1010More on detentions from Leila Soueif, wife of human rights lawyer Ahmed Hamad - reportedly one of those arrested yesterday. "We don't know anything," she tells the BBC. "We don't know where they were taken. All that we know is that they were taken by military police."

1007 TravellerW tweets: "Just got home. Beaten up, detained by the army, and spent part of the night in a kind soul's home in Zeinhom. Life's good! "

1006Amnesty International's James Lynch gives the BBC World Service details of how two of the group's members were detained yesterday: "They were at the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre with a number of other human rights activists, local and international yesterday when the centre was surrounded by what appears to have been, from the reports we've got, a mixture of army and police who then entered the building, who then removed people's mobile phones and took them away in unmarked cars."

1002More from Ibrahim Kamel of the NDP: He tells the BBC that the Western media is conducting an ugly campaign against Egypt, spreading false reports that are intended to bring the administration of Mr Mubarak down. He says the silent majority remain at home, but they will not stay there forever.

0956A senior member of Egypt's ruling NDP party, Ibrahim Kamel, tells the BBC that the silent majority of Egyptians are against what is happening on Tahrir Square and President Mubarak will not stand down.

0954 Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi tweets: "Unless the Meydan Tahrir protesters march to the Presidential Palace (14km/8miles away) it is unlikely that Mubarak will heed their call."

0951 Abdel-Rahman Hussein tweets: "Ok I'm finally in #Tahrir square, a lot of people for this time of day with thousands queuing outside, positive vibes all around."

0951More from the BBC's Paul Danahar in Cairo: "The anti-Mubarak demonstration today is going to be huge. Easily as big as Tuesday's million man protest. The rioting has clearly emboldened rather than deterred people from coming out today."

0949A rocket-propelled grenade has been fired at state security headquarters in the Egyptian town of El-Arish, setting the building ablaze, AFP reports.

0945From the BBC's Paul Danahar: "For the first time this week I have seen no pro-Mubarak protestors around the square at all. The army have set up security checkpoints on the far side of the bridge. People are forming orderly, good-natured queues. In short, the army are in control."

0944From the BBC's Mark Georgiou: "A long, long line of people trying to get into Tahrir Square stretches back across one of the bridges that spans the Nile. Many have plastic bags filled with bread and bottled water - they are ready for a long haul. Security is tight and there's more army on the street. Barbed wire at the the entrance to the square is new. It's calm, orderly. Not everyone will get in before prayers begin a little after noon. They will pray on the bridge."

0942The BBC's Jim Muir says that while the army has established a secure cordon around the square, the anti-government protesters are still vigilant. The pro-Mubarak groups have not approached, but they're not thought to have gone home either.

0940There are several layers of checks for those entering Tahrir Square, with protesters acting as stewards to make sure that pro-Mubarak groups can't get through.

0933More from David Cameron: "If we see on the streets of Cairo today state-sponsored violence by thugs hired to beat up protesters, the regime will lose any remaining credibility it has in the eyes of the watching world, including Britain." The British prime minister was speaking on his arrival at an EU summit in Brussels.

0930British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has called for Egypt to act now to carry out a transition, says: "So far the steps taken have not met the hopes of the people."

0923Iran's Ayotallah Khamenei says US faces "irreparable defeat" if uprisings in the Middle East succeed, Reuters reports (see 0847 entry for his other comment).

e-mail sent in by reader
0920May Shehata in Egypt, says: "Even if 100,000 people are gathered in Tahrir Square asking President Mubarak to step down, there are millions who back him and want him to stay in charge. They did not go to Tahrir Square seeking Egyptian stability and peace. You can check that on Facebook where a group including 200,000 youth promising not to participate in Friday of departure and preferring to call it Friday of stability in hope to restore egyptian stability. Hence, I ask those gathering at Tahrir square to learn to accept the other. It's not only their voices that count here."

0917A protester tells BBC World what we've heard before - that demonstrators are not expecting to move from Tahrir Square today. So a march on the presidential palace - an idea that had previously been aired - is looking less likely.

0914The BBC's Jim Muir says numbers are building up in Tahrir Square. He says the protesters' one aim is to get Mr Mubarak out. If the president stepped down and protests continued, it would come down to a very small core of demonstrators, because everyone's aware of paralysis in Egypt and the impact of the unrest on the economy, our correspondent says.

0909 More from the BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "More soldiers #Qasr Nil entrance Tahrir sq. Double coils razor wire thrown across street. But mood relaxed #egypt #jan 25"

0906More on Egyptian state TV's coverage from Khaled Fahmy of the American University in Cairo: "There are live broadcasts 24/7 showing only one side of the story, only one side," he tells the BBC World Service. "I have not seen a single pro-democracy activist being interviewed on Egyptian TV. Egyptian TV's message is basically stability. Mubarak represents stability."

0859German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Egyptian authorities must guarantee "free and peaceful" protests, according to AFP.

0854 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Tahrir Square feels different every day. At Qasr Nil entrance long orderly queues r back - & extend on the bridge #jan25 #egypt"

0847At Friday prayers in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the wave of unrest in Arab states is an "Islamic awakening" inspired by the Iranian revolution, AFP reports. We heard a similar line on Iranian TV yesterday.

0844Defence Minister Tantawi and other top military officials are visiting Cairo's Tahrir Square, Reuters reports.

0840For those not already familiar with the geography around Tahrir Sqaure, take a look at the BBC website's latest graphic of the area.

comment from blogger
0832 Silawa, writing for the Arabist blog, observes that away from Tahrir Square, the regime's information management skills have succeeded in influencing the views of Egyptian people since protests began: "I spent yesterday speaking to people along some of the rural stretches the Cairo-Alex agricultural road. Almost everyone I spoke to was pro-Mubarak. They seemed to have been genuinely moved by Mubarak's resignation speech. They felt sorry for an old man humiliated. They were against corruption, sure, but wasn't that just bad ministers? Clearly the ministers were misleading the president. Couldn't everything be solved by a cabinet shuffle? Why should a man who served his country for 30 years, keeping the country out of wars, be sent away?"

e-mail sent in by reader
0826Mona, an activist for human rights in Cairo, says: "This country will descent into civil war or chaos if Mubarak doesn't leave now - the Egyptian people deserve a fresh start and chance for democracy, and cannot forget the destruction and bloodshed over the last few days. Mubarak has never run a democratic election before and has lied and manipulated them, hence the need for the uprising. It is obvious to more and more Egyptians that he cannot be trusted, and now his thugs and supporters will be unleashed on the peaceful protestors while the world can't see what is going on. If Mubarak cared about this country, he would leave now!"

0821Dentist Wael Hassan, who's been delivering medicine to Tahrir Square, gives another update on the situation this morning: "I saw loads of medical supplies... But still it's very primitive, it's only providing first aid for the injured." He adds that the "confrontation last night was much less than the night before" and that now, "spirits are very high" in the square.

0818More from the BBC's Jim Muir in Tahrir Square: "The mood here is very relaxed. Some sitting in sunshine, some sleeping. The fear of imminent attack has eased."

0815The BBC's Jim Muir in Tahrir Square says the ground is covered in rubble in the aftermath of yesterday's clashes. Army now has a thick presence on the ground. It is establishing a clear defensive cordon on the perimeter of the square, but is letting people in. Pro-Mubarak groups seem to have disappeared - at least for the time being.

0814And here's the New York Times piece that says the Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice-President Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military

0808There's more on the evolving position of the US in this blog entry by the BBC's Americas editor Mark Mardell. "The White House is preparing, in great detail, for a world after Hosni Mubarak," he says.

0801 Sandmonkey tweets: "There is a new wave of McCarthyism in Egypt: anyone can be a spy now, and all foreigners on the street are considered as such #jan25."

0758While Christiane Amanpour was at the presidential palace, she also got a chance to talk to Vice-President Suleiman. He told her that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had not asked for Mr Mubarak to resign, and said that the Egyptian president was "a fighter" who had lived and would die on Egyptian soil. Here's her account of the interview.

0752For those who missed it, here's Christiane Amanpour of ABC describing what President Mubarak told her in an interview on Thursday.

0747 Jonathan Rugman from Channel 4 tweets: "The anti-march to the presidential palace called off, says protest leader, as they focus on a people build-up in iconic Tahrir square."

0744The BBC's Wyre Davies in Egypt's second city, Alexandria, says there are many more tanks and soldiers out on the streets today there than there have been before.

0741The BBC's Mark Georgiou in Cairo: "Breakfast in a hotel full of journalists from all over the world. Tales of confiscated camera gear and lucky escapes from those who want to stop us doing our jobs. One question comes up over and again: what do you think is going to happen? Will there be blood? Or, by some miracle, will the day pass peacefully? Last Friday, within minutes of prayers ending, it was full-on water cannon, tear gas and riot police charges. It's different now. The pro-democracy movement hold Tahrir Square. It's their turf and not an inch of it will be given up lightly. So, a different question: have the pro-Mubarak side got the numbers and the will to charge the barricades? We'll know in a few hours.

0736 Nadia El-Awadi tweets: "Getting ready to go to Tahrir. I hope to make today my first in a democratic Egypt."

0734One of the stories in Egypt yesterday was the targeting of foreign journalists and human rights activists. As BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner reports, this is a situation that is all too familiar for their Egyptian counterparts, who have long suffered at the hands of the security forces.

0729Wael Hassan, a dentist who has been delivering medical supplies in central Cairo, tells BBC World: "Tahrir Square is all sealed now, there's only the main entrance open. I see long queues of people waiting to get in, but the army is not letting anyone - they don't know if they are protesters or government thugs." He also said that the understanding today is that government thugs will go inside and try to blend in with protesters and then attack from within.

0723The British-Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla, who's been in Tahrir Square in recent days, has told the BBC that the there are more opposition protesters than ever, even though state TV has been turning people against the demonstrators: "The propaganda that's coming from state television seems to be doing a lot of work and... people here are finding it very hard to get information which is true. People in the square are getting calls from people outside the square who they know, saying 'what are you doing here?' There are even reports we're receiving five star food from the hotels around us, and Kentucky Fried Chicken are giving us all sorts of things, that we are in the pay and get fifty dollars a day from God knows who."

0717Abdel-Monem Said Ali, who runs an Egyptian think-tank connected with the governing National Democratic Party, gives the BBC World Service his view of increasingly firm pressure from the US for a transfer of power: "Washington is the last place that can give advice to anybody about political change in any country," he says. "We can look at Iraq and Afghanistan and see what they did with these two countries. Egypt will change, democratise, and be a democratic country within a few months."

e-mail sent in by reader
0714 Passent in Egypt says: "As citizens in Egypt, we realise that we need a change, and with the latest changes in the government we will be seeing an improvement. Change needs time. We love our country so let's look after it and not wreck it. We do not want other countries intervening; it is our country and we can solve our own problems. People need to leave Tahrir Square and leave the new government to start work. It is absolutely absurd to ask the president to leave now. We have constitutional changes to be made and this cannot be done without him staying in post."

e-mail sent in by reader
0711Safi in Cairo says: "It's a calm, beautiful morning here in Cairo, a perfect day to celebrate peace, unity and Tahrir (liberation), but also a day to honour our fallen brothers, lest we forget. Many fear clashes today, but people are determined to head out and keep the peace, with expectations of more people out today than last Tuesday's "March of Millions". Now with a few scenarios of transition of power on the table, many here hope that Mubarak finally gets the message this Friday, and departs."

0709The BBC's Jon Leyne says those closest to Mr Mubarak - Vice-President Omar Suleiman and Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq - seem unwilling to push him out. At the same time, the opposition appear unwilling to see a government run by anyone associated with the octogenarian president.

0704The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo describes how things stand: "This morning we are looking out on a scene where the army has come out in considerable force and there are no pro-Mubarak supporters to be seen at this point of time. The whole area occupied by those supporters is pretty much controlled by the military - they have put up cordons and set up barricades and it looks like they mean business about bringing some kind of order to this process.There have been people talking about marching on the presidential palace but I just don't think we are going to see that."

0701 Mosa'ab Elshamy tweets: "Breakfast now being distributed and shared. Families living in Tahrir are doing an amazing job in their solidarity."

0700The BBC's Jon Leyne says it's been a quieter night than previously in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square - the epicentre of the protests - though thousands of people did stay out overnight.

0657Today marks the deadline that anti-government protesters set for Mr Mubarak to leaving office. Mr Mubarak says he's fed up - but that stepping down would leave Egypt in chaos. The opposition have called for people to pour out onto the streets again after Friday prayers.

0645Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of unrest on Egypt, where protesters are gearing up for the "Day of Departure" rally, aimed at ousting President Hosni Mubarak. It's the 11th day of unrest since mass demonstrations began. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific