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ElBaradei in Cairo; Financial Markets Close

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei arrived in Cairo, stating that “[now is the time] to see a new regime” and calling for a “peaceful transition.” In the third day of street protests in the country, ElBaradei confirmed that he would be willing to help lead the people through the transition. The National Democratic Party was not budging, however, claiming that the protesters were a “minority that cannot force its will on the majority.”

Late in the night in Suez, police fired tear gas at protesters amidst fires from Molotov cocktails hurled by protesters. In Giza, similarly, police fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters. The death of a Bedouin protestor at the hands of security forces in the Sinai brought the death toll during the protests up to five people.

In Alexandria and Cairo, organizers called for demonstrations following Friday prayers, a move that The New York Times called taking “the political movement…to the doorsteps of the nation’s mosques.” The decision by the Muslim Brotherhood to formally get involved in the ongoing protests further augmented the presence of religion in what was a largely secular movement. A spokesman for the Brotherhood announced that “[tomorrow] is going to be the day of the intifada,” also noting that the group was encouraging its youth followers to join the protests.

Following massive losses, the Egyptian stock market closed today without word of when trading was expected to resume.