Cairo: Thousands of
defiant protesters began to pour into Cairo Tuesday to participate
in the march of a million to secure ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who has ruled them for nearly 30 years. The army has
said it won't be using force.
The determined protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which
has been the focal point of the uprising that entered its eighth
Gigi Ibrahim, a political activist who plans to attend the rally,
told Al-Jazeera TV network: "I think today there will be great
numbers on the street ... every day there are more numbers on the
street than the day before. I think the protests are gaining
"The people ... will literally not leave until Mubarak steps
down," she said.
The protests got a boost when the army said "freedom of
expression" was guaranteed to all citizens using peaceful means.
"To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging
the legitimate rights of the people" stress that "they have not
and will not use force against the Egyptian people," said an army
statement, reported Al-Jazeera.
The statement came just a day before the march of the million
people was to take place.
The media report said that another million-strong march was
planned in the Meditteranean port city of Alexandria, as national
train services were cancelled.
In an attempt to tackle the situation, the Egyptian president has
asked the newly appointed vice president to hold talks with the
Vice President Omar Suleiman said Monday that President Mubarak
had appointed him to hold immediate dialogue with the opposition,
According to Suleiman, Mubarak highlighted the importance of
executing court's orders to correct the last year's parliamentary
Suleiman said there would even be a review of some disputed seats
in parliament, from last November's election.
A former intelligence chief, Suleiman was appointed Egypt's vice
president Friday in response to the massive protests that broke
out in various cities last week.
At least 150 people have died so far in violence linked to the
DPA reported that tens of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square
Tuesday said they would not relent until Mubarak stepped down and
the country was put on the path towards serious economic and
Officials and media reports said the government was planning to
shut down the country's mobile phone networks ahead of Tuesday's
"march of a million". It would be the second time since Friday
that Egypt's government would have taken such a move.
Internet has been down across the country since late Thursday.
Internet monitor Renesys said another Egyptian internet service
provider, Noor Group, appeared to have been taken down.
In response, Google said it would offer demonstrators a means of
sending tweets to Twitter by calling a telephone number, where
their words would be automatically converted into text.
In Tahrir Square, the vice president's statement was seen as a
concession to the opposition after they earlier derided the new
cabinet as one mostly filled with loyalists and former ministers.
"We will spend as many nights here as it takes to get the snake
out," chanted the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, referring to
The European Union issued a statement, supporting "free and fair
elections" in Egypt, following a similar message the day before
from Cairo's main ally, the US - upping the international pressure
on the embattled Mubarak to quit, DPA reported.
Unrest was also widespread in other remote regions across the vast
and mostly poor country of 80 million people, almost half below
the age of 35. The protests are the largest in a generation.
Egypt's economy was suffering with its bonds being downgraded. The
country's stock market and banks were also to remain closed.
The port in Alexandria was also closed, according to traders. But
the Suez Canal, vital for international trade, remained