Egyptians Gather for ‘Day of Departure’ Protests

February 4, 2011

Luis Ramirez | VOANews

Thousands of anti-government protesters in Egypt have launched a new push to oust embattled President Hosni Mubarak. They have gathered for a rally at Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

In the air, and on the ground, the Egyptian army took up positions to guard the entrance to Tahrir square.  The Friday rally follows days of bloody street battles between pro- and anti-government supporters, and tensions were high in the hours before the rally.

Thousands of anti-government protesters marched peacefully into the square following Muslim Friday prayers.

In the early hours of the rally, there was a jovial atmosphere with some demonstrators singing, and waving flags.

The demonstrators, however, are as firm as ever in their purpose. They want Mr. Mubarak to leave the country immediately.

Mr. Mubarak has told American television correspondent Christiane Amanpour he is fed up and wants to step down but says there would be chaos in Egypt if he does so now.

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