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News  


 

Thousands defy curfew in Egypt
DUBAI (AFP) – Tens of thousands of demonstrators remain on the streets of Egypt’s major cities, despite a curfew from 1600 local time (1400 GMT).
The army has warned that anyone who breaks the curfew will be in danger.
Meanwhile, Egyptian state TV has shown intelligence chief Omar Suleiman being sworn in as vice-president - the first time such a post has been created in President Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
There have been clashes in Cairo, Alexandria and Ismailiya..
The Arab world’s influential cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi has urged President Mubarak to step down for the good of the country, as his ouster was the only solution to Egypt’s crisis.
The widely respected Sunni Muslim cleric who holds Egyptian and Qatari nationalities, also encouraged Egyptians to keep up peaceful protests, in an interview with Al Jazeera television.
“President Mubarak ... I advise you to depart from Egypt ... There is no other solution to this problem but for Mubarak to go,” Qaradawi said.
The cleric, a resident of Qatar who has a popular programme on Al Jazeera to advise on Islamic laws, heads the International Union for Muslim Scholars. He is considered one of the world’s top Sunni preachers.
“Go Mubarak, have mercy on this people and leave so as not to increase the destruction of Egypt,” he added.
“There is no staying longer, Mubarak, I advise you (to learn) the lesson of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,” he said, referring to Tunisia’s deposed president who fled to Saudi Arabia.
Qaradawi, a spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has in the past defended “violence carried out by certain Muslims”.
(Earlier report in Nation 2)