Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces.
Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, announced in a televised address on Friday that the president was "waiving" his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Suleiman's short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as well as by other pro-democracy campaigners who attending protests across the country.
The top figure in Egypt's new regime is now Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the country's defence minister.
After the announcement, he drove past Mubarak's former palace, where crowds cheered him. He stopped briefly to thank and hail the pro-democracy campaigners before driving in.
In its third statement to the nation since Thursday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it was examining the situation "in order to materialise the aspirations of our great nation".
The statement said that "resolutions and statements regarding the ... actions to be followed" in order to achieve the demands of the people will be handed down later.
online producer in Tahrir Square describes scenes of celebration:
In the televised address, the spokesman also extended "greetings and appreciation" to Mubarak for his service to the country, and saluted the "marytrs and those who have fallen" during the protests.
[tags]egypt,political unrest,tahrir square,hosni mubarak,president,marytrs,al jazeera[/tags]