Thousands of people packed Cairo's Tahrir Square on Thursday night, cheering, whistling and clapping at news that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may soon announce he is stepping down.
Families streamed into the square and one man, entering for what he said was the first time since the protests began January 25, said he wouldn't leave.
"Civil, civil, not military!" some in the crowd chanted, indicating they don't want Mubarak to hand the nation over to military rule.
Egyptian protesters pray in front of a tank in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt.
A lone protester stood on a pole above the crowd waving two Egyptian flags and holding his fingers up in a sign of victory.
Anti-government protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt Thursday.
People waved Egyptian flags throughout the square and danced as drums and music played.
Opposition protesters celebrate Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, from their stronghold of Tahrir Square in Cairo February 11, 2011.
A man on a loudspeaker, addressing hundreds in his corner of the square, promised not to leave until the protesters' demands have been met.
Anti-government protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's military announced on national television it had stepped in to secure the country and promised protesters calling for President Hosni Mubarak's ouster that all their demands would soon be met. Tens of thousands of protesters packed in central Tahrir broke into chants of "We're almost there, we're almost there" and waved V-for-victory signs as thousands more flowed in to join them well after nightfall. Photo: AP/Reuters
Rain earlier in the day failed to dampen the spirits of the crowd as darkness fell and there was a festival feeling in the square, with vendors selling food and tea. Such was the expectation of a significant development that state-run Nile TV was broadcasting live images of the square.
In this photo taken from Egyptian television, Egypt's vice president Omar Suleiman makes the announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down from office, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, in Cairo, Egypt. On screen Arabic writing reads "President steps down, he calls the High Council of the army to take over."