|Mubarak appoints new vice president|
|Written by RTE|
|Saturday, 29 January 2011|
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his intelligence chief and confidante Omar Suleiman as vice president as thousands of anti-government protestors continued to defy curfew orders.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has not picked a vice president since his took office in 1981, has appointed his intelligence chief and confidante Omar Suleiman to the post.
The vice president is the post that Mr Mubarark occupied before he was appointed president.
A Reuters witness said police used teargas and live ammunition against demonstrators in Alexandria.
Protestors also gathered on a main square in the capital Cairo in defiance of military orders for them to disperse.
The fresh unrest broke out as Mr Mubarak clung to power, replacing his cabinet in an effort to appease angry Egyptians, complaining about poverty, corruption and unemployment.
The president ordered troops and tanks into Cairo and other cities overnight and imposed a curfew in an attempt to quell the protests that have shaken the Arab world's most populous nation, a key US ally, to the core.
Despite dozens of deaths in clashes yesterday, Egyptians said they would press on with protests until Mubarak quits.
'We are not demanding a change of cabinet, we want them all to leave, Mubarak before anyone else,' said Saad Mohammed, a 45-year-old welder who was among about 2,000 people gathered in Cairo's central Tahrir Square.
The unrest, which follows the overthrow of Tunisian strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali two weeks ago in a popular uprising, has sent shock waves through the Middle East, where other autocratic rulers may face similar challenges.
The capital was strewn with wreckage from a day of protests yesterday when protestors fought running battles with police firing rubber bullets, teargas and wielding batons -- an unprecedented turn of events in the tightly-controlled country.
Government buildings, including the ruling party headquarters, still blazed this morning after being set alight by demonstrators who targeted symbols of Mubarak's rule.
According to a Reuters tally, at least 74 people have been killed in the unrest.
There was no official figure. Medical sources said at least 1,030 people were injured in Cairo, but with more protests starting throughout the country, the number was bound to rise.
As well as Cairo and Alexandria, clashes have also occurred in Suez, site of the strategically important canal.
The demonstrators, many of them young urban poor and students, complain of repression, corruption, and economic despair under Mubarak, who has held power since the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat by Islamist soldiers.
Mubarak, whose government still rules with emergency laws, promised to address Egyptians' grievances in a television address last night.
He sacked the cabinet but made clear he intended to stay in power and he condemned the violence.
Irish tourists urged to avoid protests
The Department of Foreign Affairs has reminded Irish tourists who are travelling to Egypt to exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations.
The Department has urged people to follow the instructions of the local police.
Up to 200 Irish citizens are registered as living in and around the Cairo area and all have been accounted for.
The Irish Embassy in Cairo is monitoring the situation.
The Department is warning Irish tourists that there have been disruptions to mobile phone and internet communications, and said these may continue.
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