President Mubarak Tells Defiant Egyptians That Government Will Resign


Tanks Surround U.S. Embassy at Request of U.S. Diplomats

The violence got worse as the day wore on. Restaurants on the Nile River set on fire, and when it seemed the clashes were peaking silence fell as protestors stopped to pray.

Despite the curfew and the fact the army was called in for the first time ever to quell the crowds, protesters set tires ablaze in the street and the ruling party's National Democratic Party headquarters was engulfed in flames.

"Thirty years is enough. We hate these people. We hate all this government," said one protester. "We want a complete change for all of them."

Unlike the police, that has clashed with protesters all week, the army is loved and was cheered on by demonstrators. Some even attempted to engage security forces and soldiers to sway them into joining the protests, according to news reports.

In the city's capital, protesters appeared to be gathering in the city center seemingly without any resistance from security forces though news reports showed multiple Armored Personnel Carriers entering downtown Cairo.

Protesters gathered around the Egyptian Museum to protect the artifacts housed inside the building amid fear of looting.

"We are Egyptians and this is the Egyptian Museum and we are standing here and calling for the army to come as soon as possible," said one protester. "We will not leave until the Egyptian army arrive."

Al Jazeera reported that more than 850 people have been wounded. The death toll is believed to be very small but is unknown.

A number of Egyptians expressed frustration with the U.S. government and President Obama, telling ABC News that for all the talk about freedom, the U.S. is not supporting it in Egypt. One protester pointed to the fact that the tear gas canisters being used by the police are made in the U.S.

Two U.S. officials tell ABC News that the Egyptian tanks surrounding the U.S. embassy are there at the behest of the United States to protect the compound.

The Egyptian government has shut down Internet and cell phone service in the country, leaving landlines and satellite as the only form of communication.

Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Egyptian government to open cell phone and internet lines, and also urged protesters to march peacefully, saying "violence will not make these grievances go away." But she dodged a question on whether Mubarak's 30-year rule is coming to an end as both the State Department and White House cancelled their afternoon briefings.

"We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by the Egyptian police and security forces against protesters, and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces. At the same time, protestors should also refrain from violence and express themselves peacefully," Clinton said, in the most forceful tone she has employed since protests began this week.

"As we have repeatedly said, we support the universal human rights of the Egyptian people, including the right to freedom of expression, of association, and of assembly," she added. "We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communication."

But Clinton dodged ABC News' question about the United States condemning the crackdown and wouldn't respond to questions on Mubarak's fate.

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