protesters at a public square here have decided to scale up their
uprising and plan to take out a march of over a million people
Tuesday to oust Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for nearly 30
The plan is to have more than a million people on the streets, Al
Jazeera reported Monday.
Several hundred demonstrators remained camped out in Tahrir square
in central Cairo early Monday morning, defying a curfew. At least
150 people have died so far in violence linked to the unrest.
The demonstrators had been addressed Sunday by leading opposition
activist and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) Mohammed ElBaradei who promised that change would come to
"What we have begun today cannot be turned back," the Nobel Peace
Prize winner told the crowd in Cairo's central Tahrir Square
through a megaphone on what he termed an "historic day".
"We are beginning a new era in Egypt," thundered ElBaradei.
The anti-government groups said they also aim to talk with the
army, a respected body in Egypt.
Egypt's government said it would negotiate with a wider array of
political parties, as observers were watching to see how much
determination the opposition and general population would have for
keeping up the protests, now in a seventh day, reported DPA.
Protesters were also gathering in their thousands in the coastal
city of Alexandria and the port town Suez.
Egypt's economy was hit from the upheaval with its bonds being
downgraded by rating agencies and the country's stock market to
remain closed through Tuesday.
Residents in certain areas of Cairo were reporting rising food and
petrol prices. Banks remained closed and cash machines were
generally out of funds, after many were looted, making purchasing
items more difficult.
In Egypt, a country of 80 million people, the curfews and other
disruptions were threatening to hit the meagre earning of people
as they were forced stay at home, with many businesses closed.
Protesters have regularly defied the curfew, imposed by the
military, which so far is refraining from clashing with the
The price of crude oil on global markets was rising, owing to
concerns about stability in Cairo, an exporter, and a possible
contagion to other producers.
The US said it expected events in Egypt to lead to a "transition",
ending with democratic elections.
Gamal Nasser, a spokesperson for the largest opposition grouping,
the Muslim Brotherhood, said his group was in talks with ElBaradei
and other movements to form a national unity government without
President Mubarak or his ruling National Democratic Party.
In the chaos, thousands of prisoners were said to have escaped
detention facilities in different areas of the country and had
become one of the greatest security concerns for many residents.
At least four prisons in Cairo saw jailbreaks.
Early evening Sunday saw military fighter jets and army
helicopters flying low overhead in a show of force as the
protesters chanted slogans. Tanks were also surrounding
demonstration areas, though the soldiers did not interfere with
Mubarak - who has visited troops, according to state television -
has so far reshuffled some top positions and vaguely pledged
better economic prospects and freedoms. He later met with military
and other officials over new the cabinet appointments.
Importantly, he appointed his former intelligence chief, Omar
Suleiman, as vice president - a post that has been vacant for
nearly three decades - but many who headed to the streets said it
was not enough.
The unrest has caused foreigners to flee in droves, with Western
and Arab states saying they will arrange special flights to
evacuate their citizens. A great crush was being reported at Cairo
Mubarak Sunday said new Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq should push
forward reform and anti-corruption efforts and restore confidence
in the country's economy.
In remarks carried by official media and cited by Xinhua news
agency, Mubarak said Shafiq's priority is to tame unemployment and
"I require you to bring back confidence in our economy" and shore
up the country's subsidy provisions and the campaign against
corruption, Mubarak was quoted as saying.
He also stressed the importance of taking new, effective and
continuous moves to further political reform through "extensive
dialogue" with all parties, including the opposition.