Mubarak steps down and hands power to the military and Suleiman

# Hosni Mubarak has stood down as Egypt’s president after 18 days of mass demonstrations.

* The announcement was made by Vice-President Omar Suleiman shortly after it was reported that Mr Mubarak had flown to Sharm el-Sheikh.

* Mr Suleiman said that power was being handed to Egypt’s Higher Military Council.

The question now turned to how the military, Egypt’s most powerful institution, will handle the transition in power. Earlier in the day, the Armed Forces Supreme Council — a body of top generals — vowed to guide the country to greater democracy.

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

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