Feb. 11: Anti-government protesters make traditional Muslim Friday prayers at the continuing demonstration in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Friday.
CAIRO — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and handed control of the country to the military, Vice President Omar Suleiman said Friday in an address on state television.
The announcement touched off a wave of jubilation throughout Cairo’s Tehrir Square, where tens of thousands of anti-government protesters had gathered demanding Mubarak’s ouster hours after he failed to do so in an address on Thursday.
“In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency,” Suleiman said. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state.”
President Obama will deliver a statement on the development at 1:30 ET Friday.
Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soldiers stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building.