Non-essential US gov't staff begin to leave Egypt

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt says the mandatory evacuation of all nonessential staff and their families is beginning.

The Embassy said on Wednesday it expects to evacuate over 1,000 Americans from Egypt over the next two days on special charter flights. The State Department on Tuesday had ordered non-emergency staff to leave this Middle East country as a week of demonstrations escalated.

The protesters are demanding President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, but he has so far resisted.

Egypt's unrest has panicked foreigners, with thousands scrambling for a seat on commercial flights while others are making their escape on aircraft sent in by their governments.

The panic has sparked chaos at Cairo's airport, with huge crowds forming, tempers flaring and flight options limited.