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Riots in Cairo 

Riots in Cairo

© REUTERS/ Steve Crisp

22:20 11/02/2011
Egypt’s Higher Military Council said in a statement received by RIA Novosti on Friday that it has no plans of assuming long-term power over the country after Hosni Mubarak resigned from his presidential post earlier in the day.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 82, who ruled the country for almost 30 years, stepped down on Friday after 18 days of heated protests demanding his resignation.

“The Higher Military Council is not an alternative to the legal power that would please the Egyptian people,” the statement read.

The Higher Military Council also said it would make a number of announcements in the near future on governing the country.

The Higher Military Council expressed its appreciation to Mubarak for his contribution to strengthening and developing the country.

“We address with special thanks and appreciation to President Hosni Mubarak for his guarding of the highest national interests, in the days of peace and war, and for his contribution to affairs of the fatherland,” the statement read.

The unrest in the country that began on January 25 claimed the lives of at least 300 people and injured thousands. The majority of protestors behind the revolution are web-savvy young people who have not seen any other regime except for Mubarak’s.

After the announcement, Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the nationwide protests, erupted into loud cheers, chanting “Egypt is free, Egypt is free!”

The main accusations against Mubarak are that his regime fostered poverty, autocracy and large-scale corruption. The main goal of Egypt’s revolution was to replace Mubarak’s regime with a true democracy.

The unexpected resignation made Mubarak, who had earlier in the week said he would remain in office, the second Arab leader forced to quit from a civil uprising. Last month, Tunisia’s president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali resigned and fled the country amid massive protests against his regime.

Egyptian national TV reported that Mubarak and his family had left Cairo for his winter residence in Sharm el Sheikh, a popular resort in South Sinai.

CAIRO, February 11 (RIA Novosti)