In a bid to placate protestors, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appointed Lieutenant General Omar Suleiman as the new vice-president of Egypt on Saturday (January 29th). He will be the first vice-president during Mubarak's 30 year reign as the leader of Egypt.
Suleiman, a close confidant of the president, is the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate.
Mubarak also named Ahmed Shafik, former Civil Aviation Minister and former Air Force commander, to form a new Egyptian government to replace Ahmad Nazif's government.
Nazif's cabinet tendered its resignation after a request by President Hosni Mubarak on Friday.
In a televised speech, Mubarak said chaos will not prompt change, and promised reforms.
"We will continue with new steps which will ensure the independence of the judiciary and its rulings, more freedom for citizens," Mubarak said. He also pledged policies "to contain unemployment, raise living standards, improve services and stand by the poor."
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday and continued their demands for the resignation of Mubarak. The military imposed a 4pm curfew to extend until 8am in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, but thousands of protesters remained on the streets long after the curfew started.
Tanks and armed personnel carriers were deployed around the square and other parts of Cairo guarding government buildings. Soldiers did not intervene in the protests, but reportedly opened fire as protesters tried to storm the Interior Ministry.
Ahmed Ezz, a supporter of the president's son, chairman of Ezz Steel and one of the targets for protester criticism, has resigned from ruling party, state television reported. Protesters ransacked and burned one of the wealthy businessman's company's main offices in Mohandiseen, an area of Cairo.
The Egyptian health ministry released a statement on Saturday that said 40 people have died and 996 have been wounded since protests started on Tuesday.
In an alarming development, many Egyptian citizens complained that "organised gangs" are looting private residences and businesses across Cairo. Citizens calling al-Arabiya TV and Al-Jazeera TV pleaded with the army and the police to intervene to instil order on the streets. They said Egyptian citizens are forming neighbourhood committees to protect their areas from armed thieves.
These thugs have nothing to do with the protests and have taken advantage of the security vacuum, one eyewitness told al-Arabiya.
Egyptian officials have condemned what they described as "criminal gangs" spreading chaos in the country. Many police stations were torched, and prisoners were set free by protestors.
Alexandria police officer Mohammad Samir told al-Arabiya that "40% of looters are convicted criminals set free during the protests, and the rest come from poor neighbourhoods".
Media also reported that some damaged was done by looters on Friday to the Egyptian museum yesterday before some protesters and then the military intervened to protect the museum's priceless treasures.
The looters apparently entered the museum from above as tourism police and other Cairo residents guarded the main entrance. Two mummies were destroyed and the ticket office was vandalized.
The Army issued a statement late in the evening that called on Egyptians to abide by the curfew and warned that it will deal firmly with outlaws and take measures to protect Egyptian security.
The Army urged citizens to report any looting or criminal activity by calling the 19164 hotline.