Army Guards Egypt Protest, Prepares for New Leaders

White House in talks regarding caretaker government
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 4, 2011 3:45 AM CST
An Egyptian anti-government protester uses a bucket as a helmet during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir square yesterday. Today protesters are clearly under army protection.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

(Newser) – A massive wave of protesters again flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square today—this time clearly under army protection. Protesters were the target of gun battles and other attacks yesterday by pro-government supporters who critics charged were being directed by toppling leader Hosni Mubarak and his ruling party. In an apparent sign of protest support, Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and senior army officials visited the square as thousands poured in. Soldiers checked for IDs and weapons, and pro-Mubarak demonstrators were not evident.

The Obama administration said it was in talks with Egyptian officials about the possibility of Mubarak resigning immediately and an interim government taking charge until elections can be held. A military-backed caretaker government is one option under discussion, reports AP.

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