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No End in Sight for Protests in Egypt

  • Henry Ridgwell

Egyptians carry an injured protester during clashes with anti-riot police in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

Egyptians carry an injured protester during clashes with anti-riot police in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

Protesters are taking to the streets across Egypt once again Sunday to demand the resignation of the president. The army has deployed tanks at key locations in the capital, but there are reports of looting in several cities and at the famed Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

President Hosni Mubarak has warned that he will do all in his power to maintain order, but opposition politicians have joined calls for him to go.

Egyptians once again defied the overnight curfew and took to the streets to vent their fury.

The army is also out in force, but so far the protesters are treating them as heroes, climbing on board the tanks to shake the soldiers hands, and have their photos taken - a snapshot of a historic moment for them and for Egypt.

They are demanding President Mubarak stand down. If anything, his address to the nation Friday night appears to have drawn more protests, and more anger, and the protesters want America's backing.

"Is America with us or the regime? Is America with the public or the president? We want to know their position now," said one protester. "Mubarak has been president for 30 years. He must go. Is America with us?"

Soldiers are guarding key buildings across the city, including government ministries, the American and British embassies, and the world famous Egyptian Museum.

The legions of riot police deployed Friday are now gone.

As darkness fell in Cairo few could predict what might happen in the coming hours. Buildings and police vehicles still smolder from the previous night's riots, and more smoke plumes are rising above the city.

Cell phone networks have been restored, but the Internet remains down. The curfew was brought forward to 4 p.m., but with little effect.

In his address, the president pledged to protect the country and its citizens, and while firing his government and announcing a new Cabinet, he refused to step down.

Analysts here say he has underestimated the level of anger. With the protesters shouting for him to leave, and tearing down posters of Mr. Mubarak across Cairo and other cities, they say his future as president remains deeply uncertain.

Much depends on the army. If it withdraws support from the president, analysts say Egypt will soon have a new leadership. But the army's first task is to try to maintain order as the streets of Cairo and other cities once again fill with angry protesters.

Watch Raw Video of the Street Protests in Cairo

View the slide show of anti-government protests in Egypt