By Nangayi Guyson – Cairo – Embattled President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt handing power to the military, Vice-President Omar Suleiman made an announcement on state TV.
A source close to the government told AFP that Mubarak left Cairo with his family on Friday but his destination was not immediately clear.
“Mubarak has left Cairo with all his family,” the source said, but refused to say whether the president had left the country or was headed to his residence in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Mr Mubarak’s resignation, comes on the 18th day of massive nationwide rallies demanding his immediate overthrow.
When the news reached Protesters, they responded by cheering, waving flags, embracing and sounding car horns. “The people have brought down the regime,” they chanted.
However, when leaving power, Mr Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the high command of the armed forces.
“In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country,” he said.
“May God help everybody.”
Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.
In Cairo, thousands of people are gathered outside the presidential palace, in Tahrir Square and at state TV.
Mr Mubarak who has ruled Egypt for 30 years, today marks the end of his regime in pieces instead of peace.
Egypt is now in the hands of the military which in turn will organize the general elections to bring stability to the Egyptian people.