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Al Arabiya television reported on Friday that President Hosni Mubarak and his family had left Cairo from a military airbase in the suburbs on board a presidential plane and have arrived at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Al Arabiya had initially reported Mubarak and his family had left Egypt.

The news comes as protesters moved overnight to the Ittihadiya presidential palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis for the first time since protests started in Jan. 25.

The protesters gathered up against a barbed wire cordon around the palace, about 50 meters from the palace walls at its closest point.

Tanks and soldiers of the elite Republican Guard, responsible for the president’s security, surrounded the palace, a Reuters witness said.

“The Republican Guard are protecting the presidential palaces,” an armed forces source told Reuters.

Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular tourist destination on the Red Sea, is a favorite spot for the president where he often spends time and receives guests

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