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Anti-Mubarak protests continue into seventh day in Egypt

Government’s interference in Al Jazeera’s coverage after the station’s offices were closed yesterday and transmission within Egypt was disconnected.

Egyptian Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei addresses the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo, 30 January.
Egyptian Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei addresses the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo, 30 January.
Image: AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

THE GOVERNMENT-IMPOSED CURFEW was ignored again yesterday as thousands of people crowded onto the streets of Egyptian cities in continuing protests against President Mubarak.

At least 100 people are believed to have been killed since violence erupted last Tuesday, and hundreds more have been injured.

Fighter jets and helicopters flew low over the protests in Cairo yesterday and today Al Jazeera reports that main roads remain blocked off by military tanks as crowds begin building up again.

Opposition leader ElBaradei joined protesters at Tahrir, or ‘Liberation’, Square in Cairo yesterday.  The former head of UN’s nuclear watchdog agency told crowds that “what we have begun cannot go back” and said: “You are the owners of this revoution. You are the future”.

ElBaradei is now being backed as the central leader of the opposition by the influential Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, the Guardian reports. Opposition groups are calling for a major protest of one million people tomorrow in Cairo as they push for Mubarak’s resignation.

The Irish Embassy in Cairo says Irish citizens should contact it to let it know where they are, but should adhere to the 3pm – 8am curfew and “exercise extreme caution” acc to Irish Mirror. The Department of Foreign Affairs is advising against all travel to Egypt, describing the situation as “upredictable” warning that it “may change quickly”.

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Due to communications problems in Egypt at the moment, there may be difficulty in reaching the Irish embassy in Cairo.

Last week, the internet was shut down across Egypt as the protests escalated. Yesterday, the government shut down all of Al Jazeera’s offices in Egypt and revoked the accreditation of all network journalists. The Egyptian transmission company which carried the station has stopped transmitting it.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the disruption to Al Jazeera’s coverage, and called on the government “to reverse its decision immediately”.

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