Mubarak 'Fears Chaos If He Quits'

by
staphni
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he would like to resign immediately but fears the country would descend into chaos if he did so.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he would like to resign immediately but fears the country would descend into chaos if he did so.

In his first interview since anti-government protests across Egypt began 10 days ago, he told ABC News he was "fed up" with power.

But he warned that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party would fill any power vacuum if he stepped down.

He denied his supporters were behind the violence of the last two days.

Speaking to ABC's Christiane Amanpour, he vowed never to leave, saying: "I would never run away from this country. I will die on this soil."

He added that it hurt him to him to see "Egyptian fighting Egyptian".

News of the interview follows a day of violence in central Cairo, with anti-government protesters clashing with Mr Mubarak's supporters.

Stones were thrown on both sides, and there has been some gunfire.

The army, which was trying to separate the two sides, appears to have failed to control the crowds.

Egypt's Health Minister Ahmed Samih Farid said that eight people had died in the fighting, which began on Wednesday, and 890 were injured, nine of them critically.

Another person was later reported killed in clashes on Abdel Monem Riyad Square, also in central Cairo. Many more were injured.

The BBC's Khaled Ezzelarab in Cairo says the shift in focus from Tahrir Square to Abdel Monem Riyad Square appears to indicate a strategic advance for the anti-Mubarak protesters, who have managed to hold their ground in Tahrir and move the clashes elsewhere.

Meanwhile US state department spokesman Philip Crowley has urged Mr Mubarak to move "farther and faster" with the transition.

Earlier Mr Mubarak's deputy, Omar Suleiman, called for time to carry out political reforms before presidential elections in September.

He warned there would be a political vacuum if a proper period of transition was not allowed.

BBC