Egyptian army will not use force against protesters, report


The Egyptian army has said it will not use force against protesters calling for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak ahead of a “million people” march.

The military said it considers the people’s demands “legitimate”.

Egyptian film star Omar Sharif looks over Cairo as an Egyptian army helicopter flies overhead as it monitors protesters, not seen, gathered in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. 'They want the president to step down. This is the first thing. After that, they do not know what they want,' he told The Associated Press on Monday. 'I personally don't know what they will do after wards. Who will they bring, who will take his place, who will be in charge of the country?', Sharif said.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters have ignored a curfew, troops and police by returning to Cairo’s main square in a seventh day of demonstrations.

By this afternoon, between 10,000 and 30,000 people descended on the capital’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square, with many shouting slogans and waving placards calling for Mr Mubarak to step down.

Now, it has begun to calm down but there are many thousands still there.

I understand that organisers have told the bulk of protesters to go home and rest before they return tomorrow morning at 10am.

Across the city, the military, joined by police, have increased their roadblocks and checkpoints, and there are tanks along all the main highways.

Far greater numbers of protesters are expected to hit the streets of the capital and Alexandria tomorrow for a mass rally billed as the “protest of the millions”.

My Sky News colleague Tim Marshall, who has spent the day in Tahrir Square, said he expects tomorrow’s protest in Cairo to be “huge”.

“I think it really will gain momentum tomorrow. Being in the square today, there were tents and platforms being erected, lots of loud speakers and people are coming up with speeches which are holding the attention of the masses.”



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