Cairo witnesses more massive protests

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Cairo witnesses more massive protests

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Huge crowds have once again gathered in Cairo after prayers for day 18 of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.

And this time, there is even more anger.

Events in Egypt live

There has been fury after President Hosni Mubarak defied demands and expectations by not announcing his resignation during a televised address last night.

The army issued a communique saying that it would guarantee the implementation of changes to the constitution announced by Mubarak. It also promised to satisfy one of the demands of demonstrators by lifting the 30-year state of emergency “once the current situation has ended”, an apparent call for crowds to wind down their protests and go home.

But hundreds of thousands remain in the streets, determined to stay there until their number one demand is met and Mubarak steps down.

As well as Cairo, there were also protests on the streets of Alexandria, Suez and Port Said. The main body of the crowd in Cairo remains in Tahrir Square but smaller groups of several thousand have gone to vent their ire outside the presidential palace and the offices of state television.

There are those who say an upsurge in unrest today will be an ultimate test for the military, whose role in the crisis is pivotal. There has been speculation surrounding a reported split in the army, between those who support Mubarak’s decision to step down eventually and others who, like the protesters, want an immediate change at the top.