Tuesday, February 8, 2011

US Sends Warship With 800 Troops to Egypt

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CAIRO, Feb 7: The US is sending warships, including one with 800 troops, and other military assets to Egypt as the revolution in the North African country gains momentum.

Officials in Washington have stated that the move is to be prepared in case of an evacuation of Americans from Egypt.

Pentagon has dismissed widespread assumptions that military intervention in Cairo is being contemplated, asserting that the objective of the deployment is mainly for the evacuation of US citizens in case the situation in Egypt further deteriorates.

Separately, a US aircraft carrier has been asked to abort its mission and stay in the Mediterranean.

The move comes after reports last month that a US Army aviation regiment had been mobilized for deployment to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to back the Multinational Force and Observers overseeing the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Talk doubts

The recent move comes against the backdrop of deepening political stalemate in Egypt, where swarms of demonstrators are still spilling out into central Cairo's Liberation Square, demanding the ouster of embattled President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has cast doubt on the government's willingness to follow through on promised reforms, following talks with authorities aimed at ending the country's political crisis.

Al Jazeera quoted a member of the opposition group who attended the talks, saying the Muslim Brotherhood does not trust the government to make its proposed changes.

The protests entered their fourteenth day on Monday, a day after tens of thousands of demonstrators observed a "day of the martyrs" in Cairo's Tahrir Square - the focal point of the protests.

The army fired tracer rounds into the air at a cordon they had set up near the Egyptian Museum, an Al Jazeera correspondent in the square reported late on Sunday evening. An army tank also moved towards the 6th of October bridge, where protesters often gather, he said.

Both Muslims and Christians held prayers at the square for the victims of the uprising.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters also gathered in the cities of Alexandria and Mansoura, while thousands more protested in Mahalla. In other parts of the country, banks and shops began to reopen as normal life appeared to be resuming.

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