Egypt's vice president says Hosni Mubarak has handed power over to the high military council, despite millions-plus pro-democracy demonstrations.
In a brief announcement, Omar Suleiman said on Friday that Mubarak had "abandoned the presidency" handing over the power to the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The transition of power to the military comes while Mubarak, Suleiman and Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq are all former military men. Analysts believe despite the transition Mubarak would still remain in power.
The transition means that Egypt, which has been under a state of emergency for the past 30 years, will continue to be ruled by the military.
This is while millions of Egyptians have for the past 18 days calling for the departure of Mubarak and a democratic establishment.
Earlier in the day vigilantes opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in Egypt in a move unprecedented over the past couple of days.
The shooting in El-Kharga came as protestors took over several government buildings in major cities across Egypt on Friday. The last time that live bullets were used against protesters was on Wednesday, when six protesters were killed and hundreds of others were injured -- some of them critically.
Reports say protesters have also clashed with security forces and attacked police stations in El-Arish. About 1,000 protesters attacked the police station in El-Arish in an attempt to free political prisoners held by the regime for their anti-Mubarak stance.
More than 20,000 Egyptians have marched towards the City Council in the port city.
Millions of protesters in various cities across Egypt are calling on President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
A large number of Egyptians have surrounded the Presidential Palace and the state Radio and Television building in Cairo as the Mubarak regime dispatches scores of vigilantes to attack pro-democracy protesters. The Army, however, has prevented protesters from entering the buildings.
According to a Press TV correspondent, the republican guards have been deployed around the palace with snipers positioned on the rooftop of the building.
The measure was taken after protesters began gathering outside the presidential palace following the Friday Prayers.
This is while, a huge crowd of pro-democracy protesters have already gathered in Cairo's Liberation Square.
Reports say protesters have marched to the US Embassy, which is under tight security. The families of US diplomats have already been evacuated from Cairo.
Aside from Cairo, Alexandria and the port city of Suez have also been the scene of large protests since the country's pro-democracy rallies began 18 days ago.
Suez has also seen some of the most violent clashes in the same timescale.
Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters.
More than one million pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets of Alexandria. Protests have also broken out in Mansura, Port Said and Beni Suef. About 10,000 people took to the streets of Ismailia.
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