Chaos overwhelmed the streets of Egypt's capital city of Cairo and security broke down as looters reportedly stormed government buildings and private residences, hours after the appointment of a new vice president by President Hosni Mubarak for the first time in his presidency.
Security forces disappeared from the streets and were replaced by the army, which stood mostly on the sidelines.
Egypt's embattled president named Omar Suleiman, his intelligence chief, the country's vice president in what some say is a sign that Mubarak is paving the way for a successor. He also named Dr. Ahmed Shafeeq, minister of aviation and ex-leader of the Egyptian Air force, as new prime minister in charge of forming the new cabinet.
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Suleiman's appointment and Mubarak's promise on Friday night to implement reforms in Egypt did little to appease protesters, who defied another government-imposed curfew and took to the streets in droves for a fifth straight day of protests, which have led to the death of dozens of Egyptians and injured hundreds more.
"Egypt is in a state of chaos at the moment because the president refuses to listen to its people," said Nobel laureate Muhammed ElBaradei, an activist and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who returned to the country Thursday to take part in the protests. "We are seeking a change of regime, President Mubarak should step down. ... Any other attempts to circumvent and manipulate the people's demand will lead to more deterioration and I hold the president responsible."
Military reinforcements, equipped with tanks and armored personnel carriers, were spread out throughout Cairo rather than the riot police that has formed the frontline of security all week. But the military is seemingly staying fairly low-key, telling people they are there only to protect them, and not using their weapons.
Mubarak's Cabinet officially resigned Saturday morning, but the embattled president himself continues to hold power. Despite widespread calls for the end to his 30-year rule, Mubarak, 82, has given no indication that he will step down from his powerful post.
In Cairo, masses of demonstrators, angry and frustrated at the country's dire economic situation, high food prices, rising unemployment and decades of corruption and poverty, gathered in "Tahrir Square" -- which means independence -- calling for Mubarak's immediate resignation.
"We refuse the changes that Mubarak has presented in his speech and we are calling for a change to this regime," said Mostafa Bakry, a journalist and former member of Parliament.
Today's protests started earlier than they have all week in an attempt by demonstrators to keep up the momentum that has backed Egypt's president into a corner.
Egypt's mobile phone service was restored after the government blocked it on Friday, along with the internet, in an attempt to quell the uprising. But communication was still spotty.
The scene in Cairo was one of chaos and celebration alike. On the one hand, protesters cheered and welcomed military vehicles. Unlike the police, the army is well-regarded by the masses of protesters and the soldiers were very relaxed and mostly respectful of the crowds.