Is the end nigh for Mubarak? President’s grip on power shaken as army refuses to fire on million-strong march

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
By Paul Martin

UK Daily Mail
Feb 1, 2011

As many as two million people are expected to take to the streets in Egypt later today in a mass demonstration that could finally topple president Hosni Mubarak after he was dealt a crushing blow by the nation’s military.

Peaceful protesters were told by military chiefs last night that they would not be fired upon by soldiers, giving the green light for Egyptians to take to the streets without fearing for their safety.

The army statement, aired on state TV, said the powerful military recognises ‘the legitimacy of the people’s demands’, the strongest sign yet that it is willing to let the protests continue and even grow as long as they remain peaceful – regardless of whether it leads to the fall of Mubarak.

Organisers had initially called for one million people to spill into the streets to demand Mubarak’s resignation, but the reassuring message from the military looks set to lead to a serious escalation in participation and protesters, in their droves, have ignored a curfew imposed for a fourth straight day.

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