ElBaradei ready to lead Egypt transition
Prominent Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday said in Vienna he was ready, in case people asked him, to "lead the transition" in Egypt. ElBaradei spoke to reporters at Vienna airport as he prepared to fly to Egypt. "If the people, especially young people, ask me to lead a transition, I will not let them down," he said.
However, the former director of the International Agency for Atomic Energy, said, "My priority now is to see the new Egypt through a peaceful transition." ElBaradei plans to participate in the protests scheduled for Friday, his brother earlier told AFP.
The Egyptian security forces were heavily deployed on Thursday in the heart of Cairo to face a possible third day of protests. The demonstrations resulted in the deaths of six people, including four protesters and two policemen in various parts of the country.
Clashes took place Thursday afternoon between hundreds of protesters and security forces in the cities of Ismailia and Suez on the Suez Canal, according to eyewitnesses. According to them, in Ismailia police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, who responded by throwing stones. The security forces arrested dozens of people before the start of the demonstrations.
In Suez, the police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who had gathered outside a local police station to demand the release of the detainees who were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday and their number, according to a security source, amounted to approximately 75 people.