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Egypt back online

But protests continue

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Egypt is returning to the internet even though protests are continuing in Cairo and other cities.

President Hosni Mubarak said yesterday he would not seek re-election but would step down in September. Whether this represents the compromise protestors were looking for or a sign of weakness which will encourage them remains to be seen.

Egyptian newspapers and other sites are coming back online now and Twitter offers this analysis: "internet is back in #Egypt. I am using my computer now. fuck you Mubarak."

Mobile phone services are also coming back online.

Police tried to clear Tahir Square and other areas of central Cairo late last night without success. Demonstrators have mostly dismissed Mubarak's promise to leave later in the year as insufficient.

The danger for Mubarak is that any action short of an instant taxi ride to the airport will strengthen the resolve of demonstrators to hold until he leaves power.

The next challenge will be Friday when protestors will again gather after prayers - so far the mosques have played a more important role than Twitter or Facebook in organising Egyptian reform. ®

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