After 18 days, the demands of tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators were met as Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announces that Mubarak has stepped down and handed over power to the military. Nearly 300 people have been killed since anti-government protests started up in Egypt three weeks ago.
CAIRO – The Egyptian military is calling for an end to more than a week of demonstrations demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down immediately after nearly 30 years in power.
A military spokesman says: "Your message has arrived, your demands became known ... you are capable of bringing normal life to Egypt."
Internet service is also returning to Egypt after days of an unprecedented cutoff by the government. And state TV says authorities are easing a nighttime curfew, which now runs from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. instead of 3 p.m. to 8 a.m.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
CAIRO (AP) — The Egyptian military called Wednesday for an end to more than a week of demonstrations demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down immediately after nearly 30 years in power.
"Your message has arrived, your demands became known," military spokesman Ismail Etman said on state television in an address directed to young protesters. "You are capable of bringing normal life to Egypt."
Internet service also began returning to Egypt after days of an unprecedented cutoff by the government.
Mubarak's embattled regime and the powerful military appear to be making a unified push to end a street movement to drive the 82-year-old leader out.
The movement built on the work of online activists is fueled by deep frustration with an autocratic regime blamed for ignoring the needs of the poor and allowing corruption and official abuse to run rampant.
After years of tight state control, protesters emboldened by the Tunisia unrest took to the streets on Jan. 25 and mounted a once-unimaginable series of protests across this nation of 80 million.
The army gave a tacit endorsement to the movement on Monday by saying it would not use force against protesters and that they had legitimate demands. On Tuesday, the protesters brought more than 250,000 people into Cairo's main square to demand Mubarak leave within days.
Mubarak issued a defiant response in an address to the nation around 11 p.m., announcing he would serve out the last months of his term and "die on Egyptian soil." He promised not to seek re-election, but that did not calm public fury as clashes erupted between his opponents and supporters.