Revolution in Egypt as Mubarak forced to step down

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The President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, has resigned after holding power for three decades.

After weeks of protests which have been marred by intimidation, sniper fire, and violent clashes with pro-Mubarak supporters Egyptian pro-democracy demonstrators defied curfews and persisted and have now succeeded in their revolutionary aim of bringing down their President.

There were scenes of jubilation in Tahrir (Liberation) Square as the news of the resignation speech, read out by Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman,  spread around the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators.  It is reported by Al-Jazeera’s correspondent Sherine Tadros who is now in Tahrir Square that a number of demonstrators have fainted amid the rejoicing crowds and been helped out of the area.

In Egypt’s second city an “explosion of emotion” has been reported.

In the speech a grim-looking Mr Suleiman said: “In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as President of the Republic.  He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Egyptian diplomat and Mubarak critic Mohamed ElBaradei, reacting to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, said: “This is the greatest day of my life. The country has been liberated.”

One pro-democracy campaigner, Dina Magdi, in Tahrir Square is reported as saying: “I have waited, I have worked all my adult life to see the power of the people come to the fore and show itself.”

Other regimes in the region and the Western powers who are associated with them will be nervous to see this surge of people power. President Obama is due to make an announcement on Mubarak’s resignation shortly.