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Egypt

Mubarak quits head of Egypt's ruling party

Reuters/Suhaib Salem

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned as leader of Egypt’s ruling party, along with the rest of the party's leadership, according to television reports. Protests against his regime continue for a 12th day.

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Mubarak quit the leadership of the National Democratic Party (NDP) but not the presidency Saturday, after he met his newly appointed government earlier in the day.

The entire executive committee also threw inthe towel.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

Mubarak’s son, Gamal, who had been tipped to succeed him before the latest protests, is among the leaders who have stood down. The army is said to have been unhappy about the prospect of him leading the country even before the demonstrations.

A new general secretary was elected – he is Hossam Badraoui, viewed as being on the liberal wing of the party.

Top army officers went to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to appeal to protesters to leave Saturday but had to leave when faced with their indignant reaction.

A church in the Sinai town of Rafah was in flames on Saturday, with witnesses saying they heard a blast. Another witness said he saw armed men on motorbikes near the church.

There are conflicting reports of the origin of an earlier blast at a gas pipeline in Sinai. First reports said it was sabotage but later ones seem to indicate that it was an accident.
 

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