Anti-government protesters stamp on a poster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as they pose for a photo outside the Egyptian Parliament in Cairo on Wednesday.
CAIRO — Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military today after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.
Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, cheering and waving Egyptian flags. Fireworks, car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.
Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests today rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.
Headlines in the middle east change fast.