Giant protest kicks off in Egypt

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

More than 100,000 protesters have gathered for a planned “march of a million” in the Egyptian capital, calling for Hosni Mubarak, the embattled Egyptian president, to step down.
Thousands of demonstrators began gathering from early on Tuesday morning in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, which has been the focal point of protests in the capital and served as the meeting area for the march to begin on the eighth day of an uprising that has so far claimed more than 125 lives.
Another “million-strong” march is planned in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, as national train services were cancelled in an appaent bid to stymie protests. Protest organisers have also called for an indefinite strike to be observed across the country.
Reporting from Cairo, an Al Jazeera correspondent reported that tens of thousands of people were gathering in Tahrir Square on Tuesday morning.
“The square is absolutely packed, there is hardly standing room for people. Tens of thousands of people are still streaming towards the square,” she said.

Our producer in Egypt reports on the latest developments
“The mood and atmosphere is incredible.”
Our correspondent said the army was “facilitating” the protests.
Soldiers at Tahrir Square have formed a human chain around protesters, and are checking people as they enter for weapons. Tanks have been positioned near the square, and officers have been checking identity papers.
“There was a long queue, but it was extremely orderly,” reported Al Jazeera’s online producer, who was in Tahrir Square.
“After the army checkpoint there was a civilian checkpoint”, manned by ordinary people who were checking bags, he said. Read here

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