Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned after 18 days of constant protests by Egyptians calling for the end of his 30-year rule.
Tens of thousands of cheering Egyptians took to the streets to celebrate the announcement Friday from Vice President Omar Suleiman, who said the president’s powers had been handed over to the military. State television said the country will be given details later Friday about how the military will run the country.
Word of Mr. Mubarak’s resignation drew thunderous applause from crowds of anti-government protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where it is now nighttime. Many chanted and waved the Egyptian flag.
Suleiman’s brief announcement came after more than two weeks of daily anti-government protests. The vice president said Mr. Mubarak had taken into consideration the “difficult circumstances” that the country was going through.
News organizations quoted officials as saying Mr. Mubarak had left the capital and traveled to his residence in the Red Sea resort Sharm El-Sheikh.
Hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators had spread out across Cairo and other Egyptian cities Friday, after a speech Thursday night in which Mr. Mubarak said he was committed to staying in power until September.
Witnesses and a security official say at least one person was killed and 20 injured in clashes between police and demonstrators in the northern Sinai town of al-Arish. About 1,000 protesters attacked a police station in the city.
Demonstrators also swarmed around the state radio and television building in Cairo and the presidential palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis.
Anti-Mubarak demonstrators also massed at other locations, including Alexandria and outside of government buildings in Suez.
A military statement earlier Friday said the army will ensure that reforms proposed by Mr. Mubarak are carried out as planned, including the eventual lifting of 30-year-old emergency laws that enabled the government to keep tight control on Egyptian citizens. The statement also promised that the presidential election scheduled for September will be free and fair. The military urged protesters to return to their homes.
The Associated Press says Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has cheered Mr. Mubarak’s resignation, calling the move “the greatest day” of his life.