Egypt unrest: Day 10 as it happened

  • Anti-government protesters have clashed with groups of government loyalists once again, 10 days since mass protests began.
  • President Hosni Mubarak says in an interview with US broadcaster ABC that he is fed up of being in power, but fears chaos if he steps down immediately.
  • The authorities have arrested a growing number of journalists, charity workers and rights activists.
  • Live page reporters: Aidan Lewis, Joe Boyle, Becky Branford, Yaroslav Lukov and Katie Connolly.
  • All times in GMT.

0059That concludes our live coverage of Egypt's 10th day of protests, but 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.

0056 Hanan Abdalla tweets: "Good night to all who are detained and who fought today. Rest well and fight well tomorrow. So much respect for you all. xx"
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0046 Steve Holland, US political reporter for Reuters tweets: "By a voice vote, the Senate approved the McCain-Kerry resolution calling on Mubarak to give way to an interim caretaker government in Egypt."
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0045The BBC's Barbara Plett reports on the UN's decision to pull its staff out of Egypt: "The UN has a range of humanitarian and cultural agencies based in Egypt. There've been no attacks on them, but hundreds of non essential staff members and their families have been flown to Cyprus. UN spokesmen said the security situation in Cairo was deemed volatile and unstable; they also said technical problems - such as the government blocking the internet - had made it difficult to work.

0039 Ramez Mohamed tweets: "I just want an Egypt like Tahrir square: organized, clean, everyone helping, loving each other and expressing opinion freely."
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0035The BBC's Katty Kay says the Egyptian authorities know the protesters were watching the Tunisian uprising on TV, which is part of the reason they are wary of the media. If Egyptians had not seen Tunisia on TV, the events in Cairo wouldn't be happening.

0034New Zealand announces it won't be following the lead of other countries by sending charter flights to pick up stranded citizens, Foreign Minister Murray McCully quoted in the NZ Herald as saying: "New Zealand taxpayers might object to sending a charter flight over there for 12 people."

0027More from Senator McCain: President Mubarak has been a good friend. He has helped us with Israel and to stymie al-Qaeda. We should be appreciative of that. He later added that the message from the events in Cairo is that "oppressive and repressive regimes cannot last for ever".

0026Senator John McCain told the BBC's World News America: If Mubarak arranged for his vice-president to take charge and at the same time to include the pro-democracy forces - but not the Muslim Brotherhood - in a coalition government that would arrange free and fair elections, I think it is very likely there would be calm in Egypt.


0021The BBC's Jeremy Bowen says there is clear evidence that people connected with the ruling party were behind the pro-Mubarak demonstrations yesterday. The Egyptian government has said that peaceful marches should not be interfered with, but how do you define peaceful?


0019 SamI DaouaD tweets: "Tahrir sq is ours, sleep safe 2nite, prepare urself 4 1 last fite and our beloved Egypt will be truly free."
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0018The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports on the reaction to President Mubarak's earlier interview: "He is now portraying himself as a lonely man - an unfortunate dictator forced to stay in power to guarantee stability. Very few Egyptians buy this portrayal at face value. But it is a fascinating insight into what is going on in the president's mind as he surveys the chaos in Tahrir Square in the heart of the capital."

0002The chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the US House of Representatives, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, says she will call two Obama administration officials to answer questions about the White House's response to events in Egypt. She has previously advocated severing aid to nations that do not support US policies and ideals.


2357 The BBC's Kim Ghattas in Washington reports: "The tone from the administration in general seemed to be hardening on Thursday. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said attacks on protesters were traced to elements in the government, but it was unclear how far up the chain it went. Secretary Clinton came out with a strong statement condemning the violence against journalists, foreigners and human rights activists. In Washington just like in Cairo, they're bracing for tomorrow's demonstrations with some concern.

2351 Occupied Cairo tweets: "It is good that ppl are alert and taking care of the square, but everybody please calm down. Tahrir is currently calm."
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2349Swedish broadcaster SVT confirms that reporter Bert Sundstroem has been stabbed in Cairo, saying: "He is now at a hospital in Cairo and is being operated on for knife injuries."

2344Two of America's prime-time news anchors, NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Katie Couric, have left Egypt amid a crackdown on the media covering the protests. They have been anchoring their nightly broadcasts from Cairo for several days.

2343More on the arrests at Hisham Mubarak law centre: Professor Mamdou Hamza tells BBC World Service how he went to the centre to help his colleagues and witnessed them being arrested: "We could not see their faces because they were covered. The police said they were from Iran or Hamas. But the people there say they are arrested for being anti-Mubarak."

2327The Los Angeles Times has a timely piece looking at the pros and cons of sending your news anchors into hostile territory.

2312US Vice-President Joe Biden has been talking to his Egyptian counterpart, repeating the mantra of many foreign politicians in recent days by urging that "credible inclusive negotiations begin immediately in order for Egypt to transition to a democratic government that addresses the aspirations of the Egyptian people".

2309
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Mosa'ab Elshamy tweets: "I've just walked around Tahrir. No trucks shipping thugs, no people getting slaughtered, and the few thugs on the bridge are bored."

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2301 Monasosh, who is in Tahrir Square tweets: "I know u ppl will think I am exaggerating but Tahrir square is the safest place in cairo right now! And it is cozy.

2259Conflicting accounts emerging of current situation in Tahrir Square, with some witnesses saying everything is calm, and others saying an attack from Mubarak supporters or police is imminent.

2253Former Nile TV anchorwoman Shahira Amin explains to the BBC why she quit her job on state TV: "We were not allowed to report on what was happening in Tahrir Square. I spent the whole day yesterday at Nile TV and we were just covering the pro-Mubarak rallies, which I thought was ridiculous. I don't want to be part of their propaganda machine. You know, when the system doesn't suit you just walk out."

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2246 CNN's Ivan Watson tweets: "A column of at least 6 troop carrier trucks loaded with personnel are lined up facing the protester barricades in Tahrir Square. Can't tell whether the passengers in these military vehicles are soldiers or police but all seem to be wearing helmets."

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2233 Actor and Filmmaker, Khaled Abol Naga tweets: "Tahrir news: eyewitness: some Army tanks are slowly leaving some entrances of Tahrir square."

2230Graeme Wood writes on the Atlantic website of his experiences at the hands of the pro-Mubarak mob after being mistaken for an Iranian: "I was being dragged through the street like a deformed farm animal, and the people around me were yelling 'Iranian! Iranian!' while I cried out in my best English in protest. We passed two cafes, and no one even bothered to take a shisha pipe out of his mouth to inquire about me."

2206Amnesty International confirms two of its workers are under arrest after a raid by the military police on the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, and calls for their immediate release.

2156Egypt Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq says the interior minister should not obstruct peaceful marches on Friday, in comments translated by Reuters.

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2152 Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister tweets: "Intense contacts on situation for Swedish journalists Cairo. One seriously injured and under treatment at hospital. Embassy working hard."

2146The blogger Sandmonkey (see entries at 1503 and 1334) tells the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan how he was attacked and beaten for 30 minutes, driven around Cairo for hours and eventually dumped at a police station. He says it was because he was trying to give aid to the protesters.

2133UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says attacks on journalists in Egypt are "scandalous and totally unacceptable," the AFP news agency reports.

2122The BBC's Paul Adams in Washington on Hosni Mubarak's ABC interview: "The interview puts at least one of the rumours sweeping Cairo over the past week to rest: President Mubarak's son, Gamal, has not left the country but remains in the presidential palace with his father. But since it's now clear that Gamal, like his father, does not intend to run for office in September, this is now less relevant than it once was. Of more importance is the insight gained into the defiant mood of Egypt's embattled leader. He insists that President Obama has not asked him to leave office immediately and he expresses a degree of remorse about the violence raging on the streets of Cairo.

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2114 Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan tweets: "Two Al Jazeera journos went missing for 6 hrs today- now been found although beaten up. Jazeera won't stop reporting story but re-assessing safety for us."

2106Mamdou Hamza, a professor of civil engineering in Cairo, tells the BBC he has seen local human rights activists being beaten up and driven off in a police van.

2100Mrs Clinton also urges Egypt's "government and a broad and credible representation of Egypt's opposition, civil society and political factions to begin immediately serious negotiations on a peaceful and orderly transition".


2049More from Washington on Egypt's crisis. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemns attacks on journalists and says a "free election" in Egypt "is essential".

2033Reuters reports that US intelligence officials warned the president over instability in Egypt last year, quoting CIA official Stephanie O'Sullivan as saying: "We have warned of instability. We didn't know what the triggering mechanism would be for that."

2030Protester Waleed Seif in Alexandria believes that Mr Mubarak should stay for now to allow an orderly transition, telling the BBC: "We protested against the ruling system and President Mubarak. However Egypt has now changed, and we need to give Mubarak a chance to make things right."

2019Egyptian police arrest seven youth leaders of the protests in Tahrir Square shortly after they visit Mohamed ElBaradei, their families tell AFP.

2005The BBC's Caroline Hawley says: "Hosni Mubarak may have hoped that unleashing his loyalists would help end the uprising and make Egyptians long for calm. But the violence risks alienating him further from Western leaders who've backed him for so long."

2002BBC Arabic Correspondent Khaled Ezzelarab says military police have arrested representatives of both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

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1951 BBC's Kim Ghattas tweets: "State Dept says gravely concerned about efforts to disrupt, interfere with media activity in Egypt. Hillary Clinton to issue statement."

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1948 Activist Gigi Ibrahim tweets: "Hmmm activists disappearing and journalists are being beaten up, keep an eye on me, I might be next."

1947More from ABC's interview with President Mubarak: he told the channel he would stay on until September because he feared chaos if he stood down now, and added: "I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other."

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1938 Omar Robert Hamilton in Cairo tweets: "Entrance to the square manned by legions of guys in crash helmets. Feels dangerous as soon as you're out."

1935 ABC reporter Christiane Amanpour has just interviewed President Mubarak, and she tweets: "I asked Mubarak if he was ready to leave office. He said: I am fed up. After 62 yrs in public service I have had enough. I want to go."

1925 Time magazine reports that CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan has been arrested.

1913 Nadia El-Awady, a journalist in Cairo tweets: "Mass harassment of journalists in Egypt today and yesterday must not go unnoticed. This is what the current Egypt regime represents."
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1912Secretary-general of the Arab League Amr Moussa, who is Egyptian, says the situation cannot return to how it was before the protests: "The people are frustrated, the people are angry, so if nothing happens the anger will continue and there will be a lot of damage later on."

1902More on the attacks on journalists: Reporters Without Borders warns of an "all-out witch-hunt" against the media.

1852 CNN's Ben Wedeman in Cairo tweets: "Every time I think things couldn't get worse here... I'm praying this is the dark before the dawn."
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1848The Committee to Protect Journalists has collated a list of attacks on the media since the protests began.

1845Maha Azzam from the Chatham House think-tank tells the BBC that increasing polarisation in Egypt is creating a very dangerous situation, adding: "The whole prospect of democratisation in this country is under threat."

1842Update from Tahrir Square: The BBC's Jim Muir says: "There are many thousands of people still in the square, chanting slogans. It looks relatively peaceful, but further away to the north there is still a tense situation going one. Crowds of protesters are pressing forward. They have pushed Mubarak supporters off two overpasses. They are only about 50m apart and there are only a small number of soldiers keeping them apart. But the situation has stabilised in the rest of the square because the protesters have managed to assemble some pretty menacing barricades."

1829Charity workers are among the people apparently harassed by the authorities. Oxfam has released a podcast describing the attack and arrest of a group of Egyptians who work with them.

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1824 BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Egypt State TV Anchor Shahira Amin said she took ''spur of moment' decision to resign. Went to Tahrir Square instead."

1823Bel, a British freelance journalist in Cairo, says foreigners have had to go into hiding: "Anyone who is a journalist has been attacked, and if you're a foreigner the same problem is happening. I have now had to move into hiding, keeping away from windows, keeping away from any of the action and reducing my visibility online."


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1817 Al-Jazeera's Sherine Tadros tweets: "People demanding mubarak step down and yet suleiman says the president has met the people's demands. Gov still not listening."

1814British Foreign Secretary William Hague joins the US in condemning attacks on journalists, and warns: "The world will be watching closely how the Egyptian authorities respond. Their reputation will be severely damaged if we see violence at the levels we have seen recently."

1810The BBC website now has a gallery of dramatic images sent in by readers caught up in the turmoil in Egypt.

1806Alaa, one of the protesters in Tahrir Square, tells the BBC World Service: "In the middle of the square I can see tens of thousands of people in a celebratory mood. Families congregating and lots of young people. There isn't much shouting now; everyone is sitting around having a chat and drinking tea. But further down towards the Egyptian museum, there is still some evidence of a battle."

1804 BBC's Tim Willcox in Cairo tweets: "Walked back to hotel from bureau. No cabs. 40 mins. Dark balmy evening - chatting to Egyptians at roadblocks - tense but friendly."
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1756Many miles from Cairo, life in the beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh is almost normal. Blogger Jenni "Missye" White is on holiday there, and tells the BBC: "The main thing that is affecting people here is the fact the banks are closed and they worry they are going to run out of money. They are also concerned about shortage of fuel and food. The supermarkets have increased their prices a great deal."

1752Reuters reports Vice-President Suleiman did not rule himself out of the presidential race, as reported in 1722 entry.

1740 BBC's Gavin Lee in Cairo tweets: "Pro Mubarak supporters seem very few in number. Watching small group being chased by anti Mubarak protestors."
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1727Another headline from Vice-President Suleiman's state TV interview: he says the country has lost "at least $1bn" in tourism revenue and one million tourists have left during the turmoil.

1722Update on possible presidential candidates: Mr Mubarak has already said he won't stand for the top job again, officials say his son Gamal will not stand, and now VP Suleiman has ruled himself out too.
1720More from Vice-President Suleiman's interview with state TV: "Intervention in our internal affairs is strange, unacceptable and we will not allow it."

1718Omar Ashour from Exeter University tells the BBC's World Service that the momentum is with the protesters, adding: "Dealing with this crisis by repression and intimidation is not working. What happened yesterday made a lot of people sympathise with the protesters."

1707Reuters reports 10 people have died in clashes in Tahrir Square on Thursday, and a doctor at the square told the agency: "An hour an a half ago, two people were rushed to me with gunshot wounds to the head. They were gasping and died."

1704The BBC website has a feature from Yolande Knell in Cairo describing how the carnival atmosphere in Tahrir Square is long gone.

1700The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi says: "The power struggle at the top of the Egyptian establishment is no longer a secret. The legal measures against some of the most powerful people in the political hierarchy are the confirmation of a deep split within the ruling elite. It began over how to respond to the wave of protests demanding that President Mubarak should go. And it worsened as the protesters became more assertive, insisting that the president step down immediately. After his announcement that he wont seek re-election this autumn, the split became a struggle for survival."

1654Iran's al-Alam TV reports that "a group of thugs" has beaten up one of their crews in Alexandria, and intelligence agents have confiscated their equipment.

1641Sineh, a 60-year-old doctor who was treating people in Tahrir Square last night, tells the BBC: "I'm staying near Tahrir Square now, but I have not entered today as I have been warned that I could be attacked and my medical equipment confiscated by pro-Mubarak supporters."

1638State TV quotes Vice-President Omar Suleiman as saying the Muslim Brotherhood have been invited for talks with the new government. The brotherhood is the biggest opposition group, but was outlawed by Mr Mubarak's government.

1632BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says: "Human Rights Watch tell me 'Egypt's state repression and abuse are coming out of the torture chambers and on to the street.'"

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1631 Democracy Now! reporter Sharif Kouddous tweets: "Not as much chanting, festivity as there used to be in Tahrir. A helicopter keeps passing flying low overhead."


1628Update on protests in Gaza (see 1417 entry): news agencies say hundreds of Hamas supporters are on the streets of Gaza waving Egyptian flags, chanting anti-Mubarak slogans. Hamas is seen as an ally of Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood.

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1620 BBC World tweets: "Egyptian security seize BBC equipment at Cairo Hilton in attempt to stop us broadcasting."

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1617 New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweets: "Govt is trying to round up journalists. I worry about what it is they're planning that they don't want us to see."

1615The BBC's Khaled Ezzelarab says the shift in focus from Tahrir Square to Abdel Monem Square appears to indicate a strategic advance for the anti-Mubarak protestors.

1611More from Jim Muir: He says it's hard to believe you're in the middle of one of the major capitals of the Arab world. Tanks are being used as barricades but security forces seem to have pulled to one side, he says.

1609The BBC's Jim Muir in central Cairo says he's in middle of pitched battle on the northern side of Tahrir Square. He says the anti-government protesters are pushing forward - lobbing stones and rock. They've moved out well beyond the perimeter of the square. Says it's a scene of complete anarchy.

1558Recap: There have been renewed clashes in the centre of Cairo between pro- and anti-Mubarak groups. The army had been holding a line between the two earlier in the day, but anti-government protesters then went on the offensive, pushing them out of some of the streets near Cairo's Tahrir Square.

1553Russian President Dmitry Medvedev adds his voice to those calling for a peaceful resolution to Egypt's crisis.

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1548 Firas Al-Atraqchi tweets: "Like millions - I am glued to Twitter, #AJE. I can't pull away to finish writing two articles - #egypt has captivated the world #jan25 #cairo. "

1543The BBC's Khaled Ezzelarab reports: One protestor killed in Abdel Monem Riyad Square in central Cairo, many more injured, among them three in critical condition.

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1538Adham Helal in Cairo says: "Since the protests started I haven't slept, I haven't eaten and I haven't worked. I've been standing guard at my street. My only request is to give one month of peace and check the feedback from the government. If you still feel that you need to protest, go back to Tahrir, they will not remove the square."

1529Iranian foreign ministry statement reported by Iran's al-Alam TV: "Iran watches closely the developments that are stemming from a wave of Islamic renaissance in the Middle East region."

1522BBC Arabic correspondent Khaled Ezzelarab: Heavy gunfire heard in Abdel Monem Riyad Square in downtown Cairo.

1520German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken to Hosni Mubarak and told him that dialogue must begin, Reuters reports.

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1518 Ashraf Khalil tweets: "Huge plumes of smoke coming from up the river past national archives. Hard to tell but could be Arcadia mall."

1417This update from BBC reporters in the Gaza Strip: "Dozens of university students have demonstrated outside the Egyptian consulate in Gaza in support of the Egyptian protestors.They chanted anti-Mubarak slogans, and called on the Egyptian protestors not to give up until he leaves."

1516AFP citing witnesses saying a supermarket on the outskirts of Cairo is on fire.

1514Algeria is one of the Arab states that have been affected by a wave of regional unrest, and in which leaders have been rushing to shore up their positions by making concessions - lowering prices or promising greater freedoms.

1512A very significant announcement reported by AFP from Algeria, too. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika says the state of emergency that's been in place will be lifted "in the very near future".

1509Egyptians had widely assumed that Gamal was being groomed to take over from his father, though the probability of that happening seemed to shrink rapidly with the recent unrest.

1507There's been a flurry of announcements from the prime minister and the vice-president, but we should take a moment to pick out a key one: the first official statement that Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal won't run for the presidency.

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1503 Forsoothsayer tweets: "Sandmonkey's been released, he's on his way home. His car has been destroyed and he and friends were beaten. #egypt#jan25"

1502Al-Arabiya reporting that Mubarak supporters have stormed hotels in Cairo, chasing foreign journalists.

1501The Egyptian health minister says eight people have died so far and 890 been injured, including nine in critical condition, in the Tahrir Square clashes.

1458As for "other" articles, he may be referring to Article 88 which tasks an appointed electoral committee with overseeing elections. Critics say that should be amended to include full judicial oversight.

1457More from Vice-President Suleiman, as reported by state TV: He says articles 76 and 77 of the Egyptian constitution will be amended, and other articles are open to amendment as well. Article 76 specifies who can or can't run for president, and article 77 says the president can be re-elected, without specifying a term limit.

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1354 Evan Hill tweets: "Anti-goverment protesters have advanced so far that we are now the front lines between the two sides, army firing shots in the air."

1452Amnesty International announces the arrest of a French employee, AFP reports.

1450Shahira Amin, was until yesterday a journalist with the state-run Egyptian channel, Nile TV. She told the BBC World Service that she had to leave her job because she no longer felt able to report the state view when what she saw on the street was so different: "We were basically showing the pro-Mubarak rallies all day long, as if that was the only thing that was happening. I couldn't show what was happening here in Tahrir. I couldn't even report the figures as they were. So no thank you. I feel liberated."

1448State TV also quoting Vice-President Suleiman as saying those responsible for Wednesday's violence will be held accountable; that he's been holding talks with opposition parties; and that neither Hosni Mubarak nor his son will run for the presidency.

1445State TV reports that another of those banned from leaving the country is Ahmed Ezz, former member of the National Democratic Party and billionaire businessman. Bank accounts have also been frozen.

1438Egyptian TV says it will soon broadcast an "important" interview with Vice-President Suleiman.

1437More live gunfire being heard near Tahrir square.

1436Just to recap, here are the main points from the prime minister's press conference: he apologised for yesterday's clashes and promised an investigation; called on protesters to respect President Mubarak, reminded them that Mr Mubarak is just months away from the end of his term, while appearing to hint that the president might transfer some of his powers even then; said no one would be excluded from dialogue (in response to a question about the banned Muslim Brotherhood). The prime minister also said he was in contact by phone with some of the protestors in Tahrir Square.

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1431 Ahmed Naguib tweets: "Kudos to the man at the pharmacy. Gave us extra free stuff to deliver #jan25."

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1430Wael Hassan, told us how he delivered medical supplies to Tahrir square. "I went early in the morning. They checked my ID and let me get inside. I passed on the medication and went home again to collect more money and buy more things. I bought more gloves, as they needed gloves, food and water. I parked the car near the bridge, which is opposite the main entrance. At this moment, government thugs were organising themselves in front of the main entrance. They were holding sticks and started looking at my bag. Luckily there was an army officer close to me, so they didn't touch me. I went inside and I managed to take footage and pictures. When I got out, they started to walk towards me. I thought they'd want my camera, so I ran towards my car and fled."

1427At the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, US President Barack Obama offered a brief prayer for Egypt. "We're also mindful of violence that we're now seeing in the Middle East and we pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realised, and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world," he said.

1425The Egyptian state news agency reports that those former ministers prevented from leaving the country include ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly, former housing minister Ahmed el-Maghrabi and former tourism minister Zuhair Garana.

1423Amnesty International calls on Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman to protect protesters, journalists and rights activists in Egypt. "The lack of police on the ground responding to the violence is a blatant sign of the complicity of the Egyptian government in the violence, or at best the total abdication of responsibility for law and order at a moment of national crisis," Secretary-General Salil Shetty says in a statement.

1422From the BBC's Richard Colebourn, on the evacuation of British citizens from Egypt: "About six Foreign Office organised buses have delivered around 200 British citizens for a special evacuation flight back to London. There were a mix of a few holiday makers, some British-Egyptians who were resident in Cairo or visiting families and some expats who were working or studying in Egypt.

1419Al-Alam correspondent: "Premises of satellite channels, including al-Alam TV channel office, evacuated in Cairo following a threat to set in on fire."

1418State TV reports that former ministers won't be allowed to leave the country.

1415The BBC's Jim Muir says the impression overall is that the situation has stabilised somewhat, largely because it would be so hard for pro-Mubarak groups to launch any attack around Tahrir Sqaure.

1414More reports from the prime minister's press conference, courtesy of AFP: He says the ex-minister of the interior will be subject to an investigation; the government doesn't have enough police to guarantee security across the country; and the protesters won't achieve anything by staying in Tahrir Square.

1407Dr Ibrahim Kamel, a member of the General Secretariat of President Mubarak's National Democratic Party and a prominent Egyptian businessman, denies that Mr Shafiq's apology was an admission of any government role in encouraging the violence. He told the BBC's World at One programme that it would be a mistake if Mr Mubarak stood down sooner than he has already promised to: "For Egypt, this is going to be a very big mistake. We do not accept that our president would jump the ship because the overwhelming majority of Egyptians are against it. You cannot permit the minority to run the scene for the majority."

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1350 Matthew Cassel tweets: "They've developed a pulley system to get stones to those on bridge, while some just hit metal against metal like a war drum."


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1335 Marwa Elnaggar tweets: Ahmad Shafiq = good cop, Mubarak = bad cop. Old routine. Don't fall for it, ppl! #jan25 #Tahrir.

1334Ahmed Rasheed in Cairo tells the BBC: "Two of my friends have been arrested - one is the blogger Sandmonkey. They were trying to get food and medical supplies. These thugs [supporters of Mubarak] are arresting people and delivering them to the secret police. I was at the protest last night and I got injured after a stone was thrown at my head. I'm going to go back today and get food and medical supplies, if I don't get arrested." Sandmonkey's blog appears to have been suspended.

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1330 US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J Crowley tweets: "There is a concerted campaign to intimidate international journalists in #Cairo and interfere with their reporting. We condemn such actions." - confirming the earlier Reuters report

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1328 Reuters journalist Simon Hanna tweets: Gang of thugs stormed the VideoCairo/Reuters building,started smashing windows+doors,army came up to help.we managed to escape #egypt #jan25

1327An Egyptian army tank has moved against supporters of President Mubarak as they hurled rocks at anti-Muburak protesters in Tahrir Square, prompting cheers from anti-Mubarak demonstrators, reports Reuters.

1323The US State Department condemns the "concerted campaign to intimidate international journalists" in Cairo, reports Reuters.

1322The PM pledges that the violence "will not be forgotten... [he will] carry out a full inquiry into the lack of security on the ground".

1321In a live televised statement, PM Ahmed Shafiq apologises for the clashes in Cairo, saying the "situation got out of control". The situation "hurt Egyptians' hearts", he says.

1315AFP reports that Egyptian pro-democracy youth groups on Thursday rejected an offer by Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq to hold talks, saying they would not begin a dialogue with the regime until President Mubarak resigned.

1310 Retired Gen Sameh Seif al Yazal, an Egyptian military and intelligence expert, told the BBC World Service he believes the army will play a more active role in the coming days: "The army will put more infantry on the streets to make sure that there will be no mixing between the pro and anti Mubarak groups. I believe they will also enforce the curfew positively in the streets."

1310 Ahmed Nasser, a young Egyptian professional told the BBC World Service that he has concerns for his country's future but that he is hopeful about the protest: "I do have concerns but the people who are protesting in Tahrir Square, they have the potential to rebuild this country. They are very powerful, they are very enthusiastic and they are the future of this country. I am very sorry for those old minds because they are not having this space any more; we are the future of the country. We will rebuild this country."


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1308 Raafatology tweets: "The Army is still watching and doing nothing. we have the feeling the army is choosing the regime over the people #Egypt #jan25"


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1306 The BBC's Gavin Lee tweets: "Two tanks that are situated between protestors north of the Square are pointing their turrets towards the Pro Mubarak protestors"


1305The BBC Have Your Say team have put together a page of voices from Cairo

1258Vodafone - which was criticised among some quarters for allegedly co-operating with the Egyptian government in shutting down mobile communications and sending out pro-Mubarak messages - releases a statement defending its actions: "Under the emergency powers provisions of the Telecoms Act, the Egyptian authorities can instruct the mobile networks of Mobinil, Etisalat and Vodafone to send messages to the people of Egypt. They have used this since the start of the protests. These messages are not scripted by any of the mobile network operators and we do not have the ability to respond to the authorities on their content. Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable. We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator."

1255Shots are being fired in the air around Tahrir Square as anti-government protesters push back regime supporters, reports AP.


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1250 Monasosh tweets: "Last we heard from ppl in Hisham mubarak law center is army police was there now all their mobiles are switched off #Jan25"


1252AFP quotes the official Egyptian Mena news agency as saying that Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has declared he is ready to go to Tahrir Square to talk to protesters.

1249The BBC's Paul Danahar says: " I am standing beneath the underpass just outside Tahrir Square where the anti-Mubarak protesters have pushed back the pro-Mubarak people. The two sides are now just separated by a small patch of grass. Both are breaking rocks and throwing them at each other. There have been bursts of automatic gun fire. The anti forces seem for now to have the momentum.

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1242There are lots of tweets about journalists being under attack close to Tahrir Square - such as Tristan Redman who tweets: "Reports that an #alarabiya crew is under attack next to state TV building. Al Arabiya is appealing on air for help from military #egypt"

1239The BBC's Paul Danahar in Tahrir Square says: "There is a massive exchange of stone-throwing going on in front of me. Rocks are landing just a few yards away from me. A man has just been led past with blood running from his head. The crowd are chanting and banging drums."

1236The BBC's John Simpson in Tahrir Square points out: "Yesterday tanks were pointing their guns inwards towards anti-Mubarak protesters - now they have turned the guns away towards the pro-Mubarak camp. I suspect that may be significant."

1231The BBC's Wyre Davis in Alexandria tells us: "It's getting increasingly difficult to work as a foreign journalist here in Alexandria - there's anger and tension from all sides, not just with the political crisis but also because of the worsening economic situation here. Twice in the last couple of days we have been attacked and driven off by angry locals while trying to film in the streets of Alexandria."

1229The UN is sending two chartered aircraft to evacuate most of its staff in Egypt, saying they are being "temporarily relocated due to the security situation", reports AP.

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1226 Alaa Abd El Fattah tweets: "I hear military police just invaded Hisham Mubarak Law Center, we can't reach anyone inside (my dad is there) #Jan25."


1226The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has repeated his call for restraint in Egypt, saying he is concerned about the growing violence, reports Reuters.

1218Three Polish journalists covering the unrest in Cairo have been detained by police, AFP quotes Polish Television TVP as saying. Two other TVP journalists who were detained and then released said police "took all our documents, all our equipment and then destroyed our camera", before handing them over to the army who released them.

1216The Associated Press reports that the Egyptian military has started rounding up journalists, "possibly for their own protection", after they came under attack from Mubarak supporters. An AP reporter saw a group of foreign journalists being detained by the military on a street near Tahrir Square.

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1212 US journalist Lauren E Bohn tweets: "Call from source telling us orders have been issued to arrest journos. We're staying in secure location, filing stories. #Egypt #Jan25."

1211One of Hosni Mubarak's main supporters, businessman Dr Ibrahim Kamel, had urged the president's backers onto the streets, but he told the BBC World Service he felt no responsibility for the violence that took place. "I do not condone what happened in the square in any way. It is absolutely something that we cannot accept as Egyptians. But I cannot also accept that Egypt is represented only by the people in the square. The reporting of the BBC and the reporting of all the foreign media in Egypt unfortunately was transmitting a picture to the entire world that the people in Tahrir Square are Egypt. No. I'm sorry to say they are not Egypt."

1208Prime Minister Shafiq says the Suez Canal is still operating normally, Reuters reports. The unrest in Egypt has driven up the price of oil amid concern about disruption to the vital Suez shipping route.

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1203Marco Rossi, an Italian doctor living in Cairo, sent this account of his attempt to reach Tahrir square: "This morning I tried reaching Tahrir square - all entrances were blocked. They don't let doctors (or foreigners) in, and they take away food, drinks and medical supplies - in my case they tried to take my stethoscope and sphygomanometer. The situation in the nearest hospital, Kasr el Ainy, is very calm. I went there to donate blood and was told by doctors that they didn't need any because most of the injured people didn't reach the hospital. Blocking medical personnel is unacceptable under any circumstances."

1157A second plane has been chartered to bring people back to Britain as a contingency. It's due to arrive in Cairo on Saturday.

1155The UK government has said that if the Egyptian regime has been sponsoring violence that would be unacceptable. A spokesman has told the BBC that sanctions against Egypt are not on the table but an "orderly transition to a broad based government" is needed. But he stressed that: "We won't get into the position of dictating to other countries who their leader should be."

1151This from Reuters: "A witness saw an army tank turn its turret towards Mubarak loyalists who were hurling rocks at the protesters from an elevated position on a flyover. The tank then advanced towards the loyalists, accompanied by soldiers on the ground who cleared them from the flyover."

1144Several reports now that the army is moving to push back Mubarak loyalists to prevent them from reaching the opposition protesters holed up in Tahrir Sqaure.

1140The BBC's Jim Muir in Cairo says the opposition protesters mobilised very quickly against Mubarak supporters when they began throwing rocks. He says he suspects that because of the position the army has taken up now it would be very hard for pro-Mubarak supporters to launch more large-scale attacks.

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1135 More from Lyse Doucet "Despite violence, 75 yr old surgeon, heart patient, carrying flowers, heads to Square. Calls it ''peaceful revolution'' #jan25 #egypt"

1133An update on the situation in Yemen, where protesters gathered for what was billed as a "day of rage". The BBC's Lina Sinjab in the capital, Sanaa, says the protests appear to have gone peacefully, despite initial fears of clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters. Although today's demonstrations have now ended, the protesters have vowed to return to the street every day until they get their desired political and economic reforms, she adds.

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1130 Hamish Macdonald from Ten Network Australia tweets: "Just witnessed a foreign tv journalist being carried along the road in front of our hotel by an angry mob. Not sure where to.."

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1124 More from Lyse Doucet "On edge of Square heated arguments pro & anti Mubarak. Some holding sticks, tree branches, iron rods. So far only shouting #jan25 #egypt"

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1120And another tweet from the BBC's Lyse Doucet "Just met 4 doctors running to Square w bags medicine & food. Say police tried to stop them. #egypt #jan25"

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1119 BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "Large crowds still streaming into Tahrir Square but police now blocking some approaches to stop people #jan25 #egypt"

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1109Samar M Samy in Mansoura, says: "The atmosphere is very tense. There was a lot of violence in the local square. There are food shortages and most of the supermarkets are out of supplies. The local farmers can't tend to their farms. Seventy thousand of the country's most dangerous criminals have been let loose so all young men are watching guard over their property. My dad has been threatened by thugs and my whole family is staying in because things have got very violent. Everyone is really irked at the governments poorly disguised officials whipping and beating its own people. We all feel like we are in some sort of twisted civil war - the ruling elite against the people. Everyone is scared about what might happen tomorrow. Many say they are willing to die, if that's what it takes for Mubarak to leave."

1107Pro and anti-Mubarak supporters are pelting each other with rocks in Cairo, Reuters reports.

1057UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says all parties in Egypt crisis should "sit down together" to decide their future and the UN ready to help.

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1050Ahmed Kamal in Cairo, says: "I am against those people who are sitting in Tahrir Square. Mubarak must stay till the expiry of his term. The majority of people really want him to stay till the authority is transferred to someone else. Those who are sitting in Tahrir do not love Egypt."

1049There have been several recent tweets reporting that journalists are being intimidated and harassed by pro-Mubarak groups.

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1046 SamI DaouD in Cairo tweets: "Counted 17 ID cards from secret policemen on display on a table taken by protestors from beaten men #jan25."

1044A reminder on the current situation in central Cairo: There's a thin line of control being held by the army between anti-Mubarak protesters camped out in Tahrir Square and the pro-Mubarak groups that have been fighting them. There were violent clashes yesterday and overnight, with horse and camel-back charges, petrol bombs and gunfire. Many say the pro-Mubarak groups have been paid by the government - but the government has denied that it is behind the violence.

1037More from the BBC's Paul Danahar in Cairo: "I'm watching now a group of anti-Mubarak protestors try to rescue a badly beaten pro-Mubarak man from a mob of men. They are leading him away to safety as other members of the crowd punch and kick him.

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1028Karim Hamdy in Cairo, says: "I am not taking part in the Egyptian Revolution against oppression, deception and humiliation by the Egyptian ruling regime, because I am forced to protect my wife and daughter along with the brave men of Egypt from thieves, bullies and looters released from prisons. I feel cheated and betrayed by my own government, which I would never ever be able to trust again!"

1026From the BBC's Paul Danahar in Cairo: "The pro-Mubarak protestors have been pushed back along Opera Bridge from the main entrance to Tahrir Square. The anti-Mubarak protestors have now moved forward ahead of the tanks."

1019A convicted member of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, known as Sami Chehab, escaped from prison on Sunday, Reuters reports. They say Hezbollah had previously confirmed that Chebab was part of a group that smuggled weapons from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.

1012From the BBC's Richard Colebourn on the outskirts of Cairo: "We're on a bus full of British citizens, tourists and residents leaving downtown Cairo for a processing centre before they are due to board a flight back to the UK. The whole operation has been organised by the British Foreign Office. Most say they have decided to leave in the past couple of days as the situation on the streets grew more violent and as families back home became more alarmed. Haroon, who is a 17-year-old student from London, said he had a great time in Egypt but his parents were worried and struggling to stay in contact with him due to the difficulties with phone lines to Egypt."

1007A reminder that the opposition has called for more mass protests on Friday to force Mr Mubarak out. They've set Friday as a deadline for him to go. Earlier this week, Mr Mubarak said he would stay in office until elections in September, but would not stand for another term.

1003But Prime Minister Shafiq has said that the government is in dialogue with the protesters based in Tahrir Sqaure, AFP reports.

1001Reuters reporting that opposition figurehead Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, have rejected a call from the prime minister for talks. They want President Mubarak to leave office first.

0956 Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton had said: "The government is accountable for the welfare and safety of its people. Those responsible for the loss of life and injuries caused should be held accountable for their actions and brought to justice."

0956In a joint statement, the leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain have called for the political transition in Egypt to "start now", adding that they are watching the unrest in Egypt with the "utmost concern" and condemn "all those who use or encourage violence, which will only aggravate the political crisis in Egypt".

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0953 Ian Lee in Cairo tweets: "Scores of men in Tahrir have head wounds. But they remain defiant. #jan25 #egypt"

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0952 Mathew Cassel in Tahrir Square tweets: "At front lines, thugs throwing stones across small no mans land at anti Mubarak protesters."

0851Protesters say they have "detained" 120 police and Mubarak loyalists, Reuters reports. A protest organiser showed the news agency two ID cards of people who tried to infiltrate the protest camp.

0946 The lack of internet over five days has cost Egypt $90m (£55m), according to the OECD.

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0944 Stephen Farrell, New York Times correspondent tweets: "Sense of waiting for later. Copters circle, people rest.At most 300 pro-govt in Riyad Sq, the Tahrir front line. Maybe 1000 antis. #egypt."

0842But a cabinet spokesman Magdy Rady has insisted to Reuters that the government had no role in mobilising pro-Mubarak groups. "To accuse the government of mobilising this is a real fiction. That would defeat our object of restoring the calm."

0838Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has apologised for attacks on protesters on Wednesday: "This is a fatal error, and when investigations reveal who is behind this crime and who allowed it to happen, I promise they will be held accountable and will be punished for what they did," he says on Al-Hayat TV. "There is no excuse whatsoever to attack peaceful protesters, and that is why I am apologising." He urged the protesters "to go home to help end this crisis".

0932The violence in Tahrir Square will be investigated, Egyptian TV reports.

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0929 Egypt Photographer tweets: "At the Tahrir entrance near the museum. Under anti-Mubarak control but rocks keep flying in from the bridges."

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0925Fatima in Leicester, UK, says: "My daughter is married to an Egyptian from Alexandria. She reports that her husband's uncle was ordered to demonstrate for Mubarak today or he wouldn't receive his pay check! The regime has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. I hope that Western governments are paying close attention to this oppression and deceit."

0924The European Union is urging Egypt to bring the perpetrators of violence there to justice, expressing "great concern" over the situation, AFP reports.

0919The BBC's Wyre Davies is in Alexandria, Egypt's second city. He's been to a shopping centre on outskirts of the city that had been completely looted and was being protected by army. There are reports of people being beaten up by vigilante groups. The army has been keeping guard at several sites, and the only police out in the streets are traffic police.

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0917 Raafat tweets: "Thugs are heading to Tahrir. Our heroes are ready, but we would love to have any support. Watch us world #Egypt #Jan25."

0913Egyptian state TV reporting that Vice-President Omar Suleiman has started a dialogue with "political parties and national forces".

0910The BBC's Jim Muir in Cairo says protesters in the centre of the city are very determined to stay and hardening their position, despite the violence that began yesterday.

0901The New York Times has an impressive graphic of the Tahrir Square area of Cairo.

0858Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, who is following British nationals being evacuated from Egypt, advises a flight will probably leave at about 1300-1400 GMT - though the situation is fluid.

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0848LithuanianObserver in Vilnius says: "I strongly support the protests. They remind me of what happened in Vilnius in 1991: when our people's chose to live better they were met with tanks and guns, just as Egyptians who are facing Mubarak's police forces dressed up as civilians. I hope Egyptian people will reach their goal to live as they want, not as Mubarak tells them."

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0844 Nadia El-Awady in Cairo tweets: "I cried when my camera was broken by Mubarak thugs. My camera was my weapon in this revolt. It was the tool that created a role for me." Yet later she adds: "But I will not be intimidated to stop reporting. I am equipped with two phone batteries and will tweet as long as I have internet."

0839A witness tells Reuters that pro-Mubarak groups armed with knives and sticks are heading for Tahrir Square.

0836Returning to that suggestion that the army is coming down on the side of the anti-government protesters. The army plays a central role in Egypt, and there have been big questions about how it will react to the continuing unrest. For more on Egypt's security apparatus, read this recent analysis by BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner.

0830The Muslim Brotherhood, seen as Egypt's most important opposition party, says President Mubarak and his government have to go: "We demand that this regime is overthrown and we demand the formation of a national unity government for all the factions," it says in a statement broadcast by al-Jazeera.

0822Khalid Abdalla is a prominent British Egyptian actor who has been protesting all week. He described to the BBC World Service the situation in Tahrir Square on Thursday morning in graphic detail: "We've had a very successful attempt at physical and psychological warfare on us all night. I myself have seen people with bullet wounds. I saw someone with a wound, a bullet to the head, and he had his brain coming out of his forehead. It's been a very, very dark night and the atmosphere here is tense. People are exhausted. The wounded are absolutely everywhere. We've been under siege all night. Through the night they were also blocking the streets outside the square in order to stop people coming to us, in order to stop supplies coming in to us and we've also had reports of people who tried to leave also being arrested."

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0818 TravellerW tweets: "Walking through the tahrir battlefield. Number of injuries staggering. Morale impressively high. It really is "La Resistance!" "

0812The retired general talking to the BBC's Jon Leyne had been speaking in turn to tank crews in Tahrir Square. The general said he believed the military would move very soon against Mr Mubarak - possibly as soon as tomorrow. Our correspondent says it seems the army is willing now to put its lot very firmly on the side of the protesters.

0807The BBC's Jon Leyne has been told by a retired Egyptian general that the army is losing patience. He was told that if there's more firing from pro-government groups the army is now willing to open fire on them.

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0801Blogger Sandmonkey, who writes the Rantings of a sandmonkey blog, describes the scenes that began on Wednesday at Tahrir square: "They attacked them with sticks, threw stones at them, brought in men riding horses and camels - in what must be the most surreal scene ever shown on TV - and carrying whips to beat up the protesters. And then the bullets started getting fired and Molotov cocktails started getting thrown at the anti-Mubarak protesters as the Army standing idly by, allowing it all to happen and not doing anything about it... "

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0754 Al-Jazeera journalist Gregg Carlstrom tweets: "Just tried to enter Tahrir Square near the museum and got held at knifepoint by pro-Mubarak thugs. Crowd is more aggressive than yesterday."

0758Correspondents say that the US is now bypassing President Mubarak as it hardens its backing for a transfer of power. For more on the latest analysis of the Obama administration's position, read the latest blog entry from our North America editor, Mark Mardell.

0753A BBC Arabic correspondent reports that more pro-democracy activists have been arriving in Tahrir Square. "The majority of those who support the president have now left the square. Opponents of the regime have stood their ground overnight despite coming under attack repeatedly. They are hoping they will be joined by others in order to maintain control of the square."

0749The US earlier issued its own stark travel warning, urging those who want to leave to "immediately" head for the airport, adding that any delay was "not advisable". The state department said: "Do not wait for a call from the US embassy. Additional US government flights after Thursday are unlikely."

0743The French government calls on its nationals to leave Egypt unless they have an obligation to stay there, the government spokesman tells French radio.

0742 Mona Sahif, who is among the protesters, has given the BBC her description of the violence that erupted on Wednesday and continued overnight: "We started hearing gunshots and from that moment on it was really ugly. There were people among them with rifles they were aiming at our protesters. We had... people dying, we had one witnessed by two of my friends with a shot through the head. Our paramedics confirmed that at least eight were shot with live ammunition in their legs and five were shot either in the chest or head."

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0735 Ali Seif tweets: "We are not leaving, Mubarak is" is the slogan I hear from Tahrir #Jan25 "

0733Egypt's army has been largely standing back from the clashes. But there have been reports this morning that soldiers have been arresting people, and al-Jazeera says tanks have been deployed among protesters in Cairo.

0726BBC Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi has been looking at the papers in Egypt this morning. He says the pro-government press was reporting that millions took to the streets on Wednesday to show solidarity with the government, and that Egypt can rise above "sedition". But independent and opposition papers have pictures of anti-government protesters being charged by people on horseback. They say it's clear that the government is behind the violence.

0722AFP reports that in Yemen there are tens of thousands of anti-government protesters out on the streets. Yemen is one of the other Arab countries that's seen protests inspired by last month's "Jasmine Revolution" in Tunisia. There have also been demonstrations in Jordan and Algeria.

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0718 CNN's Frederik Pleitgen tweets: "Street battles continue in #egypt. Many wounded in Tahrir sq. Some seem to be shot. "

0714The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says there's a little more military movement around Tahrir Square. He notes that there are fewer people in the square than on Wednesday, but it's not clear whether more protesters will arrive later today.

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0712Safi in Cairo writes: "What happened on 2 February according to all indications was indeed state-sponsored terrorism. What kind of people would want to break into masses of thousands to 'express their pro-Mubarak opinions' by throwing rocks, petrol bombs, knifes, and medieval horse and camel charging? Everyone understands the damage caused to the country's economy and the international implications of this situation. But the people in Tahrir will keep fighting for their rights to become free, civil, not terrorised citizens. We refuse to accept any further humiliation for ourselves and our Egyptian brethren."

0705More from Jon Leyne: He says the military leadership seems deeply uncomfortable with what's happening - they don't want to turn on protesters but they're not willing to defy the president either.

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0702 Lara Setrakian from ABC News tweets: "The loudspeaker in Tahrir Square just asked the men to gather, protect one entrance. Women to stay in the middle #Jan25."

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0701 Monasoush tweets: "Our army men, feets away from clashes not budging or helping #Jan25."

0659The BBC's Jon Leyne says there's a group of protesters hemmed in by barricades. They either cannot leave of have decided not to. Those attacking them appear to be either police who've taken off their uniforms or plain-clothes "thugs", our correspondent says. There were petrol bombs being lobbed during the night and now this morning there's been gunfire.

0654Egypt's health minister says five people have been killed and 836 been taken to hospital as a result of the fighting in and around Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the protests, Reuters reports. Of those, 86 are still being treated. "Most of the casualties were the result of stone throwing and attacks with metal rods and sticks," says Health Minister Ahmed Samih Farid.

0649Protesters in central Cairo have been setting up barricades and reinforcing their positions after a night of violence. Several people are thought to have been killed. This follows a day of running battles on Wednesday that left another three people dead.

0645Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of unrest on Egypt, where there are continuing clashes between supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak. 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.




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