Mubarak appoints new prime minister as violent protests continue in Egypt

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CAIRO: President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday appointed intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as Egypt's first vice president in 30 years and Aviation Minister Ahmad Shafiq as the country's new prime minister, following waves of nationwide protests that began Friday, Ammon News reported.

Suleiman was head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (EGID) since 1993 and was formally a minister without portfolio. He was dubbed as one of the world's most powerful spy chiefs.

Shafiq was the Civil Aviation Minister in the outgoing cabinet and former commander of the Egyptian Air Force from 1996-2002.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians defied a curfew and remained on the streets of downtown Cairo on Saturday, demanding the ouster of Mubarak. There were clashes in Cairo, Alexandria and Ismailiya. In Cairo, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters at the interior ministry. There were reports that at least three people have been killed.

According to the Health Ministry, at least 51 people have been killed and 1,100 others injured during the past four days. Al Jazeera, however, reported a death toll exceeding 70.

(BNO NEWS )

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