Promises Do Little to Ease Egypt's Chaos

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Government officials in Egypt took to the airwaves, Thursday, trying to bring calm to the streets and promising political reforms.

Still, the violence surrounding anti-government protests shows no signs of abating.

Heavy gunfire continued to echo throughout Cairo Thursday evening, as rival groups clashed on the 10th day of violence.

The Egyptian army stepped in for the first time by sending tanks and soldiers to keep the warring factions apart.

Click play to watch George Thomas' report, followed by more of his analysis.  Thomas also spoke with author Joel Rosenberg about the impact of the situation in Egypt.  Rosenberg has written several books on the Middle East.  Click here for his comments to CBN News.

But that lasted only a few hours. Troops were then forced to retreat under a heavy barrage of flying rocks.

So far, 13 people have died and more than 800 have been injured in clashes around Tahrir Square.

"I saw for myself around three to five in critical condition which were completely unconscious." Egyptian Dr. Susan Issa said.

Opponents of the regime accuse the government of organizing Wednesday's clashes.

Thursday morning, the new Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik apologized for the violence and promised to investigate the matter.

A few hours later, in an attempt to bring calm to the streets, the country's new Vice President Omar Suleiman publicly announced elections in August.

"End your sit-in," Suleiman told the pro-democracy demonstrators. "Your demands have been answered."

Protestors are still demanding that President Hosni Mubarak first step down.

From Amman to Gaza City to Paris, thousands stood in solidarity with the protesters in Egypt.

And in the United States, President Barack Obama remembered the people of Egypt during the National Prayer Breakfast.

"We pray that the violence in Egypt will end and the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized," he said.

That hope can't come quick enough for the hundreds of exhausted protesters in Cairo and around the country.

In his first television interview since the protests began, Mubarak told ABC News he wants to step down, but cannot because of fears that his country would slip into chaos.

He added that he fears the radical Muslim Brotherhood would take advantage of that chaos.

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George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Sr. Reporter

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