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Protests continue in Egypt as NDP leadership resigns

Leadership of ruling National Democratic Party resigns, but Hosni Mubarak will stay in office as president until elections in September.

Egytian soldiers line up to form a guard around anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 February, 2011.
Egytian soldiers line up to form a guard around anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 February, 2011.
Image: AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Updated at 16:30

ANTI-MUBARAK PROTESTERS continue to demonstrate at Tahrir Square in Cairo for a 12th day today after yesterday’s ‘Day of Departure’ failed to push the president to resign early.

In an effort to appease demonstrators, the leadership of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), including Mubarak’s son Gamal, have resigned, Haaretz reports.

Egyptian state TV says that Hosni Mubarak will retain the presidency and stay on as the head of the party.

Al Jazeera reports that Tahrir Square in Cairo, the central focus of much of last week’s protests, has been calm so far today but security remains tight.

Pro- and anti-Mubarak groups clashed violently last week at the square after Mubarak said he would not step down until after the elections in September.

Demonstrators calling for his resignation say that they will continue their efforts until he resigns.

Today, the Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said that no instructions have been issued by the government to “hinder the coverage of the media” after criticism of journalists being arrested and attacked. Earlier today, Al Jazeera’s Cairo bureau chief and one of its journalists were arrested, the AFP reports.

Yesterday, an Egyptian reporter died after he was shot on 28 January, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Economic impact

The president reportedly met with members of his cabinet with responsibility for economic issues earlier today. The unrest is estimated to be costing Egypt around €228m a day and banks in Egypt will reopen tomorrow in an effort to get the Egyptian economy moving again, according to the BBC.

Earlier today, Egyptian state television reported that a pipeline which supplies gas to Israel from Egypt has been attacked and blown up in northern Egypt, disrupting supplies to Israel and Jordan. No casualties have been reported

A security source told Haaretz that the supply to Jordan was targeted by ‘foreign elements’. The Egyptian army closed off supplies to Israel as a precaution as they fight a huge blaze caused by the explosion.

[caption id="attachment_79043" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="Flames are seen after an explosion went off at a gas terminal in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula on 5 February, 2011 in El-Arish, setting off a massive fire. (AP Photo/Ashraf Swailem)"][/caption]

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