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Egypt braces itself amid numerous reports Mubarak will step down tonight

posted 10 Feb 2011, 08:54 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Feb 2011, 09:37 ]

Egypt is on tenterhooks amid intense speculation that President Hosni Mubarak will heed the calls of thousands of protesters and step down later today.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak looked likely to step down on Thursday (February 10) in response to more than two weeks of nationwide protests against his 30-year rule.

The news provoked loud and emotional cheers in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focal point for pro-democracy demonstrations. As dusk fell, crowds continued to mass in the square in anticipation that their demands may finally be met.

Since protests began on January 25, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has faced an unprecedented challenge to his 30 years of one-man rule, with thousands of anti-government protesters taking to the streets daily to demand his resignation.

Despite numerous conflicting reports over whether he would resign, state television said that Mubarak would speak to the nation from his Cairo palace later on Thursday.

Asked if Mubarak would step down, an Egyptian official told Reuters: "Most probably".