See also:
» 06.03.2013 - Egypt court suspends planned election date
» 25.02.2013 - Opposition to boycott another Egypt election?
» 24.03.2011 - Still double standards in Egypt justice
» 24.03.2011 - How cyber-activism lent savvy to North African protests
» 18.03.2011 - Egyptians split on Saturday's referendum
» 03.03.2011 - Egypt PM Shafiq resigns after protests
» 23.02.2011 - Exodus from Libya; foreigners targeted
» 11.02.2011 - It's over - Mubarak has left

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Live studio: Friday protest in Egypt

Egyptians at all ages protesting at Tahrir Square, Cairo, this evening

© Anonymous/afrol News
afrol News, 4 February
- Tahrir Square in central Cairo has been crowded all day and the mood in the protesters' camp is described as "electric" and "powerful". People say they will stay in the streets until Mubarak steps down, frowning at current "negotiations".

Press F5 to update!

21:16 - Today has seen the largest demonstrations ever in Alexandria and the second largest in Cairo since the protests started, and it has been peaceful except for minor incidents. Protesters, fearing a possible bloodbath, did not engage in the planned march against the presidential palace, rather stating they would occupy central Cairo until Mubarak steps down. The few government messages coming out today have been reconciliatory towards the protesters, indicating there are negotiations going on to change the system, but emphasising that it is out of the question for Mubarak to resign. Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq this evening promised that the protesters will not be attacked or removed. This seems to be the stand-still situation as the Egyptian night approaches.

21:07 - Egypt's state TV has just announced that the curfew (which in any way is not observed by people) is loosened. From tomorrow, it will run from 19:00 to 06:00, replacing current curfew hours that run from 17:00 to 07:00.

20:59 - There is little movement in the situation in Egypt now. The government claims to be negotiating with unknown groups, while the streets of Cairo and Alexandra remain full of protesters, saying they will not leave before Mubarak has stepped down. It is now ten in the evening in Egypt, and the protesting crowd is starting to get somewhat smaller.

20:46 - There are still few announcements from the Egyptian government, but negotiations are ongoing. It however becomes increasingly clear that the elite will do all it can to keep

Anti-government protests in Alexandria this evening are massive

© Mohammad Shaheen/afrol News
Mubarak in the presidency to "assure stability". Many depend on Mubarak for their positions, business and careers.

20:33 - Egypt state broadcasters have continued airing anti-foreigner conspiracy theories today. Even many Egyptians today report they are repeatedly stopped in the streets and asked if they are foreigners.

20:19 - According to the press freedom watchdog RSF, at least 60 journalists have been detained in Egypt since Wednesday, eight of which are still missing or in arrest. Also, more than 70 journalists have been physically assaulted in the same time. RSF blames the pro-Mubarak mobs and police for the violence.

20:05 - Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen have reacted with anger to Iranian calls for an Islamist uprising in Egypt, telling Iran to keep out. "This is the Egyptian people's revolution not the Islamic revolution," a spokesman was quoted saying.

19:59 - There is no significant reduction in the protesting crowds in Cairo or Alexandria. People are waiting for a government announcement on President Mubarak's future.

19:52 - State controlled broadcasters in Egypt during the day have had a somewhat more balanced reporting, also allowing some opposition voices to be aired, in addition to foreign reactions. But they still mostly voice government opinions and grossly underestimate the size of the protests.

19:41 - The millions protesting in Cairo and Alexandria, having heard the rumour of negotiations offering an "honorary presidency" for Mubarak, mostly react by saying they will keep protesting until Mubarak i

Also in Alxandria today, large crowds take to the streets calling for President Mubarak to step down immediately

© Kareem El-Hennawi/afrol News
s gone. Also opposition leader ElBaradei has declared none of the ongoing negotiations with the regime were serious.

19:34 - There are also reports of demonstrations in Luxor. A video published on YouTube indicates that the Luxor protests were made violent by attacking pro-regime agents or police.

19:16 - Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik in an interview with broadcaster 'Al Arabiya' confirms there are ongoing negotiations with "all groups to find a solution," but maintains Mubarak in some manner must stay as President due to constitutional reasons. He further hailed the mass protests as "nationalistic and patriotic" by "Egyptians loving their country," again deploring the "one day " things went wrong.

19:08 - We have earlier reported of massive demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, and the police preventing protesters assembling in most smaller Egyptian cities. However, also in Aswan, at least 20,000 persons are protesting and there are even larger crowds demanding Mubarak must go in Ismailiya and Port Said.

19:02 - There have been few announcements from the Mubarak regime today, indicating there are ongoing negotiations. The few governemnt statements today have been appeals for the demonstrators to go home as "80 percent of their demands have been met."

18:53 - The close to one million demonstrators in Alexandria are chanting "Leave, Leave, Leave, Leave!" The demonstration in Egypt's second city today is as powerful as in Cairo.

18:49 - Opposition leader Mohammad ElBaradei now says he was quoted wrongly by Austria'

Tahrir Square this afternoon

© Hossam el-Hamalawy/afrol News
s daily 'Standard'. He could indeed consider running for the Egyptian presidency, but would only decide after "this is over" and if the people wanted him to run.

18:40 - Central Cairo remains very crowded, but it could seem that the crowd around Tahrir Square is beginning to get a bit smaller right now.

18:29 - Opposition leader Mohammad ElBaradei today told the Austrian daily 'Standard' he will not seek power in Egypt. "No, I will not stand candidate" in the upcoming presidential elections, he said. "The best I can do is acting as an agent for the transition," he added. Amr Moussa meanwhile told 'BBC' he had "not decided at this point," whether to run for the presidency.

18:17 - The Muslim Brotherhood, in several press releases, is reporting of increased attacks against its members and offices by the police. Several key members had been abducted, they say.

18:06 - There are steadily ticking in new reports of human rights activists, opposition bloggers and civil society groups being attacked by the police and arrested. Also the Muslim Broterhood's headquarters in Cairo has been stormed by police troops.

18:03 - The "Council of wise men" negotiating with the Egyptian government does not seem to have the direct backing of Egypt's senior opposition figueres, such as Amr Moussa, Mohammad ElBaradei or the Muslim Brotherood leadership.

17:55 - Rumours about the negotiations between the "Council of wise men" and the Egyptian government is that President Mubarak has accepted to remain seated as an "honourary President" until t

Central Cairo is today totally crowded with anti-Mubarak protesters

© Anonymous/afrol News
he September elections, while Vice-President takes over real powers in Egypt. It is questionable whether protesters would accept such a solution.

17:51 - Protesters at Tharir Square and in Alexandria are only waiting for the message that Mubarak has stepped down. They are not moving anywhere until their demand has been met.

17:35 - Egypt's leading independent newspaper 'Al-Masry Al-Youm' reports that there are increased security arrengements around the Cairo presidential palace. Armed troops are stationed along the road to Heliopolis. At Tahrir Square, however, there are no signs the crowds will break up and march towards Heliopolis.

17:28 - On Cairo's Tahrir Square, the mood stays festive, with poetry read in one corner, music being plaid in another corner. There are no signs the masses plan to leave central Cairo and the crowd is not getting thinner.

17:19 - The normally well-informed broadcaster 'Al Arabiya' reports that a group of "wise men" is negotiating with the Egyptian government about a political transition. "The crisis will be solved within a couple of hours," the broadcaster was told.

17:14 - It is past 6 PM in Egypt and getting dark. The centres of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other cities are still crowded with anti-government protesters, with numbers rather rising than sinking.

17:09 - 'Al Jazeera' estimates that around one million persons are participating in the anti-government protests in Alexandria. Other estimates are at "several hundred thousands". In any way, this is the greatest demonstration ever

Friday prayers at Cairo's Tahrir Square, 4 February 2011

© Anonymous/afrol News
to be organised in Egypt's second city, and it is almost totally pacific.

17:05 - The police is still active in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, many reports from these cities prove. Persons supporting the opposition are "arrested" and the Muslim Brotherhood reports that the office where its website is updated has been attacked.

16:51 - Friday evening prayers are over at Tahrir Square. In a powerful show of unity, the masses unizonely went on their knees and followed the prayers. Now the big question is: will the masses start marching towards the presidential palace or not?

16:46 - Egypt state TV for the first time has aired an interview with an anti-government protester at Tahrir Square. The broadcaster however still is biased towards the regime.

16:39 - Arab League leader Amr Moussa, who was at Tahrir Square giving his support to protesters earlier today, told US news agency 'AP' he would "consider" standing candidate for the Egyptian presidency and to participate in a transitional government. Amr Moussa is among the most popular figures among Egyptians, also among protesters.

16:32 - Protesters at Tahrir Square are convinced President Mubarak will step down during the day. The typical conversation on the square is not so much what to do now, but what the future will be after Mubark. The mood is electrifying.

16:27 - According to reporter Lyse Doucet of the 'BBC*, present in central Cairo, soldiers are now, after the curfew started 20 minutes ago, "stopping people from crossing Qasr Nil bridge towards Tahrir Square."

Cairo's Tahrir Square filling up, around noon today

© "Monasosh"/afrol News
16:20 - "It is time to march towards the presidential palace," is among the most chanted slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo right now.

16:10 - "Stay tuned with us in Tahrir square, watch us bring Mubarak down," 'Monasosh' tweets from the Cairo square.

16:09 - An increasing number of protesters on Tahrir Square are appealing for a march towards the presidential palace.

16:08 - Journalists in Alexandria report of attempts by the police to control their movements and confiscate their equipment - which was the tactics followed by police in Cairo yesterday. Hotels in Alexandria had been ordered not to accept foreigners.

16:04 - There are again reports from Cairo's Tahrir Square that protesters are discussing whether or not to start a march towards the presidential palace in Heliopolis. Some want to use the momentum to start this "final" march, while other fear that will mean violent confrontations and rather want to wait on Tahrir until Mubarak steps down. But right now, people are still pouring into central Cairo (and have been doing so for over six hours), so it would be difficult to turn the direction of popular movement.

Older updates from today's live studio are found in the first part, here.

Live studio updates from yesterday (3 Feb) and last night are found in yesterday's Egypt live stream, here

(Hours are Central Europe time. Cairo time is one hour later, GMT one hour less).

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