Egyptian parliament dissolved as army takes over

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EGYPT’S ruling military leaders announced that the country’s parliament was to be dissolved and its constitution suspended as efforts were made to restore order to the country.

The army took control of the nation on Friday following the announcement that president Hosni Mubarak would step down after weeks of pro-democracy protests.

The move to scrap Egypt’s constitution and dissolve parliament met two of the protesters’ demands with the army saying it would run the country for six months or until presidential and parliamentary elections could be held.

Earlier the country’s prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, said the caretaker government’s priority now was restoring security as the country began its transition from three decades of Mubarak’s dictatorial rule to a democracy.

Speaking after the first cabinet meeting since Mubarak stood down, Mr Shafiq said: “Our concern now in the cabinet is security, to bring security back to the Egyptian citizen.”

However attempts to restore order in Cairo after weeks of mass demonstrations proved a problem with troops facing some resistance as they tried to dismantle the protest camp in Tahrir Square, the heart of the resistance movement.

Scuffles broke out with some young men who refused to leave. Many local residents also shouted at the protesters that it was time to go.

It also emerged last night that looters had made off with 18 items from the Egyptian Museum during the unrest, with two gilded wooden statues of the boy king Tutankhamun among the artifacts missing.

Mubarak’s money: Page 13.