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A laser lights up as thousands spend the night in Tahrir Square Bela Szandelszky/AP/Press Association Images

Protests grow in Egypt as military appoints former Mubarak official

Demonstrators are furious that the country’s ruling army council has asked Kamal al-Ganzouri to lead an interim government.

THE EGYPTIAN MILITARY has appointed a former official of ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak to lead an interim government, in a move that is expected to galvanise already large protests.

Kamal al-Ganzouri has agreed to lead what the military call a “national salvation” government, the Telegraph reports. Al-Ganzouri served under Mubarak from 1996 to 1999.

The army council, who have been the de facto rulers of the country since Mubarak’s downfall earlier this year, yesterday rejected calls to delay Egypt’s first free elections for decades, according to the Washington Post.

Voters are due to go to the polls on Monday but the country has been rocked by further huge protests, with hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria.There have been violent clashes with security forces, with dozens of people killed in recent days.

Last night the April 6 Youth Movement, one of the groups involved in the uprising earlier this year, rejected al-Ganzouri’s appointment. “The military council must know that we don’t trust it or its choices. Al-Ganzouri’s name wasn’t among those proposed by the people on the street,” it said according to Bloomberg.

Protesters are now planning to hold another mass rally today. Thousands of people are already camped out in Tahrir Square, the symbolic centre of the uprising that ousted Mubarak.

In pictures: Fifth day of violence rocks Cairo, Alexandria>