As Egypt goes into its third day of protests the authorities are reporting that they have made thousands of arrests across the country as a result of the demonstrations against the Mubarak regime on 25 and 26 January. Some sources are also reporting that tens of journalists have been arrested, including two foreigners. The weekly Al Ahram paper had no reference to the unrest in Egypt on the current front page of its website on 26 January, concentrating instead on the revolt in Tunisia.

Reports coming from Egypt indicate that police are struggling to keep control of the situation and that orders that demonstrations are illegal are being ignored. Television news programmes abroad showed film on 26 January of demonstrators tearing down a poster of President Hosni Mubarak and of police making random arrests.

Foreign news networks are reporting that the vocal opponent of the Mubarak regime, Mohamed Elbaredei, ex-head of the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency, plans to return to Egypt from Vienna on 27 January. Elbaredei, unlike the main Egyptian opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, has supported the demonstrations from the outset.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood