Mubarak leaves Cairo with his family: report

The ruling National Democratic Party confirmed that the Egyptian president, who last night rejected protesters' demands to cede leadership, is in Sharm el Sheikh.

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CAIRO // Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak left Cairo with his family on Friday, a source close to the government told AFP, and a ruling party spokesman said the ruler was now in Sharm el-Sheikh.

"Mubarak has left Cairo with all his family," the source said.

"He is in Sharm el-Sheikh," National Democratic Party spokesman Mohammed Abdellah told AFP.

His departure comes on the 18th day of massive nationwide rallies demanding his immediate overthrow. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have rejected concessions made by Mubarak's government and vowed to keep demonstrating until their demands are met.

And his apparent departure to Sharm, a Red Sea resort town in which he maintains a residence, appeared to do little to placate protesters.

"He has to leave the country, our demands are clear," said Magdy Sabry, one of thousands blockading the state television building in central Cairo.

"We want the entire (ruling) National Democratic Party to be dissolved and to get out because they have destroyed the country," he said.

Outside Mubarak's presidential palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, 40-year-old Mohammed Hamdan said the long-time ruler was missing the point.

"People here don't care if he's in the palace or not. We want him to quit the presidency," said Hamdan, who works for an oil firm.

On Thursday, Mubarak handed some powers over to his powerful deputy Omar Suleiman but dashed the hopes of protesters who had been expecting him to announce his resignation.