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Cairo news: Tahrir Square protests and crackdown enter Day 4 (LIVE BLOG)

Egypt's military says they will not seek presidency. Check here for the latest news on the Cairo street protests.

GLOBALPOST EGYPT LIVE BLOG:

UPDATE: 10/22/11 12:50 PM ET / 7:50 PM CAIRO

Egypt’s top military commander addressed the nation Tuesday evening on state television, following four days of violent unrest in cities throughout the country.

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, repeatedly that the nation's military would not seek the presidency.

Here's a few highlights from the speech, which was delivered in Arabic:

We will hand over power to an elected civilian authority.

SCAF is only interested in the interests of the people. We don’t care about who will win elections or who will be the next president. It’s up to the people to decide.

We are not looking into the presidency.

Tantawi also confirmed that he had accepted the resignation of the transitional government.

UPDATE: 10/22/11 12:16 PM ET / 7:16 PM CAIRO

The Egyptian military government has yet to make the concessions that have been reported - the complete transfer of power from military rule to civilian leadership by mid-2012 and the formation of a national salvation government among others. 

But swelling crowds in Tahrir Square seem to have already rejected them.

Thousands of Egyptians are gathered in Tahrir at this hour, chanting for a complete and immediate end to military rule in Egypt.  Egypt has been governed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) since the ouster of former president Mubarak in February.

One journalist tweeted from Tahrir:

People in #Tahrir determined to change the regime to a civilian gov. Say they are tired of decades of military rule #egypt

Here's another:

#Tahrir reaction to "national salvation" Cabinet: "We are not leaving, he leaves," they chanted, referring to military ruler Tantawi

Meanwhile, protesters on Mohamed Mahmoud near Tahrir continue to push back slowly against police, who are firing heavily from an unlit portion of the street. Police shotguns rounds can be heard every few seconds. There are several bonfires burning in the area.

Just a few blocks away from Tahrir, however, GlobalPost's Erin Cunningham found that the rest of Cairo is going about its business as usual.

“We need to make ends meet, we need to support our families,” said one worker at a cafe near the frontline that was still serving customers.

UPDATE: 10/22/11 11:48 AM ET / 6:48 PM CAIRO

Egypt's ruling military held crisis talks with various political parties and movements in Egypt on Tuesday, amid the worst unrest in the capital, Cairo, since the country's uprising in January.

Although the military has not yet addressed the nation, some details of those discussions are beginning to emerge.

The Associated Press reports on Twitter that Egypt's ruling military will transfer power to a civilian government by 2012:

BREAKING: Egyptian politician: Military pledges to transfer power to civilian government by July 1, 2012. -EC #Tahrir #Cairo

AP cited two politicians who attended the meeting, Abu al-alla Madi and Mohammed Selim el-Awa, in reports.

Abou Elela Mady, head of the Wasat Party, said that Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) will form a national salvation government to replace the transitional government that resigned on Monday, according to Al-Jazeera.

Another political figure who attended the crisis talks, Selim al-Awwa, reportedly said that Egypt's new government "would implement the goals of the revolution," according to the BBC.

Egypt's military commander, Mohamed Tantawi, will reportedly address Egyptians on television today. 

UPDATE: 10/22/11 10:10 AM ET / 5:10 PM CAIRO

Violence erupted on the streets outside Tahrir Square again. The truce failed after a lone protester, who was standing at the back of a crowd of hundreds near the police line, hurled a rock in the direction of security.

The entire street scattered after police responded by firing a gun into the air.

Clashes have been raging on Mohamed Mahmoud Street for more than 72 hours straight.

 

UPDATE: 10/22/11 9:35 AM ET / 4:35 PM CAIRO

Police and protesters have agreed to a temporary truce, as firetrucks race to extinguish a fire at a market in the streets near Tahrir.

There are thousands of Egyptians chanting against military rule on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, just three blocks from Tahrir Square and a short distance to the police headquarters.

Despite the ceasefire, the mood is very tense in downtown Cairo. Protesters and police are standing face-to-face.

 

UPDATE:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/111122/cairo-news-tahrir-square-protests-and-crackdown-enter