Huge anti-Mubarak rally as army leaders vow to end emergency laws
Egypt’s army promised Friday to guarantee the lifting of the three-decade-old emergency laws and free and fair elections in an attempt to end the crisis as hundreds of thousands gathered in Cairo for a huge rally. In "Communique No. 2" the army chiefs said it "confirms the lifting of the state of emergency as soon as the current circumstances end."
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters assembled in Cairo's Tahrir square ahead of noon prayers while troops stood by. Troops have promised to protect the right to demonstrate. "The armed forces are there to protect the demonstrators and to protect the country but the powers have been handed over, not to the military, but to the vice president," Finance Minister Samir Radwan told Reuters.
In a related development, an officer in the Egyptian armed forces said that 15 officers joined the protesters in Tahrir Square. According to him, these officers belong to mid-level ranks.