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Egypt military to make important statement

CAIRO, Feb 11 – The Egyptian military\’s Supreme Command Council was meeting Friday and was to make an "important statement to the people," the state news agency MENA reported.

"The Supreme Council for the Armed Forces, presided over by Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi, has held an important meeting this morning. It will issue an important statement to the people," MENA said.

Earlier, a senior military officer with ties to the Supreme Council told AFP the generals were continuing to meet in "permanent session" and were expected to make a statement on Friday.

Amid mass street protests against President Hosni Mubarak\’s rule, Egypt\’s top generals announced on Thursday that "in support of the legitimate demands of the people" they would "take steps to protect the nation."

Some interpreted this "communique number one" as a threat to launch a coup, but Mubarak himself appeared on state television later in the day to announce that he would stay in office until September presidential elections.

Pro-democracy protesters were infuriated by Mubarak\’s decision to cling on, and many demanded the army intervene to overthrow him on the people\’s behalf.

They have called for Friday\’s demonstrations to be the biggest yet.

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