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Egyptian military falls out with protesters who won't leave Liberation Square until civilian rule is secure

© Emilio Morenatti/AP
A protester waves an Egyptian flag on top of a tank during celebrations in Liberation Square in Cairo today.
Egypt's new military administration and the pro-democracy protesters who brought down Hosni Mubarak were at odds today over the path to democratic rule.

The army sought to stave off pressure from jubilant protesters to swiftly hand power to a civilian-led administration by saying that it is committed to a "free democratic state".

The military leadership gave no timetable for the political transition, and many of the demonstrators who filled Cairo's Tahrir square for 18 days rejected the military's appeal to dismantle the barricades and go home.

They said they were waiting for specific commitments from the military on their demand for a civilian-controlled interim administration, the lifting of the oppressive state of emergency and other steps toward political liberalisation.


Pakistan issues arrest warrant for Musharraf

© Unknown
Benazir Bhutto, photographed at Chandini Restaurant, Newark, CA
Former president under scrutiny over assassination of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad - A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for ousted military leader Pervez Musharraf on Saturday over allegations he played a role in the 2007 assassination of an ex-prime minister and rival. It was a major setback for the onetime U.S. ally, who was plotting a political comeback from outside the country.

Musharraf, who has not been charged, described accusations that he had a hand in the attack on ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as a smear campaign by a government led by her aggrieved husband.

The stunning allegation that Musharraf - a self-declared opponent of Islamic militancy - was linked to extremists accused in the attack was likely to keep him out of Pakistan, at least in the short term.

His possible arrest abroad did not appear imminent, but Pakistan's information minister, Firdous Ashiq, Awan said the government will contact Interpol about seeking Musharraf's detention if the court requests it.

Musharraf's spokesman said the former leader was in Dubai, with no plans to go to Pakistan. Speaking from London, where Musharraf has lived in self-imposed exile, Fawad Chaudri quoted him as saying that the accusations were "absurd and ridiculous."


True socialism: Liberation Square, Ciaro - a brief glimpse into what a self-organising psychopath-free society looks like

Cairo's central Tahrir Square was the focal point for anti-Mubarak protesters during 18 days of demonstrations. As the protest neared its peak, the BBC's Yolande Knell took a tour of the area. Explore the protesters' camp...

Liberation Square, Cairo [Click on image to enlarge]


Taliban behind assault killing 16, injuring 45 in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan


Clouds of smoke rising above Kandahar following the attacks.
At least 16 people have lost their lives and several others have been wounded in a series of attacks in the troubled southern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials say 15 of the victims are police officers as the attacks mainly targeted the police headquarters. Forty-five people have been injured in the attacks.

One intelligence agent is also reported to have been killed in Kandahar Province.

The provincial governor says a number of militants armed with guns and grenades were involved in the attacks.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Violence has been at its worst in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001.

The Afghan interior ministry has declared 2010 the deadliest year for civilians since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. The ministry's spokesman said more than 2,000 civilians lost their lives in violence across Afghanistan.


Egyptian police forces shot dead 10 protestors in El-Arish port just as Mubarak resigned

At least 10 protesters have been killed and scores injured in the Egyptian city of El-Arish on the day that saw the historic overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Hours before Mubarak announced his resignation, government vigilantes clashed with pro-democracy protesters who surrounded a police station in the Egyptian city of El-Arish late Friday to free prisoners held by the regime, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Government forces then fired tear gas and live bullets to break up the demonstrators, killing at least 10 protesters and injuring 50 others.

Protesters, who were increasingly incensed by Mubarak's refusal to cede power in his televised speech a day earlier, eventually managed to secure the release of their friends and relatives during the melee, while twelve police officers surrendered to the crowd.

Che Guevara

Pro-democracy rallies held in Yemen


A Yemeni woman holds a sign that reads in Arabic "Where is the happy Yemen?" during an anti-government protest in Sana'a.
Thousands of Yemenis have taken to the streets of the capital, Sana'a, urging President Ali Abdullah Saleh to follow the example of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

The Saturday rally, which was approximately attended by 4,000, saw demonstrators chanting, "After Mubarak, it's Ali's turn," AFP reported.

"Get out, Get out Ali" and "The people want the regime to fall," some shouted.

Yielding knives and batons, hundreds of Saleh's supporters, attacked the protesters, injuring at least two of them, DPA said.

Mubarak handed power over to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces on Friday, giving in to 18 straight days of pro-democracy protests.

Che Guevara

Algerian protesters clash with police as Arab dictatorships start playing nice in face of pan-Arabian uprising

  • 400 arrested as officers enforce no-protest ban in Algiers
  • Up to 5,000 protesters rally in Yemeni capital of Sana'a
  • Arab leaders make concessions to avoid repeat of Egypt
© Reuters
The government banned the protest apparently
Algerian police have beaten back around 2,000 demonstrators who tried to rally in central Algiers as aftershocks from the Egyptian revolution rumbled throughout the Middle East.

Demonstrations in Algiers quickly turned to running clashes with police who had been ordered by the government of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to enforce a no-protest ban. Police took up positions throughout the centre of the city hours after the tumultuous scenes in Cairo, which are likely to have significant ramifications across the region.

Even before Egypt's Hosni Mubarak had stepped down, the 12-year regime of Bouteflika had been considered to be under most threat from the popular uprisings now galvanising the Arab states. Wedged alongside Tunisia, where President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was rolled 30 days ago, and near Egypt, which fell on Friday, the unstable nation has many of the characteristics of both - a disenfranchised youth and rising prices of basic goods, such as sugar and cooking oil.


Vatican has defrocked three Boston-based priests for abuse


The Vatican has ousted three men from the priesthood years after they were accused in sex , the Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday.

"These men are no longer to function, or present themselves as priests, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying," said archdiocese spokeswoman Kelly Lynch.

In 2002, Frederick J. Cartier was accused of sexually abusing a minor in the early 1970s. By the time the allegation was received, Cartier had been out of ministry for more than 20 years, the archdiocese said.

Arrow Up

Produce prices skyrocket overnight

Get ready to pay double or even triple the price for fresh produce in the coming weeks after the worst freeze in 60 years damaged and wiped out entire crops in northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S.

The problem started less than a week ago, when our nation was focusing on the Superbowl and sheets of ice falling from Texas Stadium.

Farmers throughout northern Mexico and the Southwest experienced unprecedented crop losses. Now devastation that seemed so far away, is hitting us in the pocketbooks.

Light Saber

Hosni Mubarak resigns - and Egypt celebrates a new dawn

© Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP
Egyptians celebrate the end of Mubarak-era
President surrenders power to army and flies out of Cairo
Egypt rejoices as 18 days of mass protest end in revolution
Military pledges not to get in way of 'legitimate' government

When it finally came, the end was swift. After 18 days of mass protest, it took just over 30 seconds for Egypt's vice-president, Omar Suleiman, to announce that President Hosni Mubarak was standing down and handing power to the military.

"In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful," Suleiman read. "My fellow citizens, in the difficult circumstances our country is experiencing, President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak has decided to give up the office of the president of the republic and instructed the supreme council of the armed forces to manage the affairs of the country. May God guide our steps."

Moments later a deafening roar swept central Cairo. Protesters fell to their knees and prayed, wept and chanted. Hundreds of thousands of people packed into Tahrir Square, the centre of the demonstrations, waving flags, holding up hastily written signs declaring victory, and embracing soldiers.