Cairo: Anti-government protestors in Egypt have started marching from Cairo's Tahrir Square to the presidential palace. As soon as Friday prayers finished, several thousand protestors started their march towards the palace demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down.
The Speaker of Egypt's state-backed Al Azhar Mosque also resigned and joined the protesters in Tahrir Square who have been chanting "change, strength, nationalism, and justice". Most of the protestors carried the Egyptian flag and were also singing the National Anthem.
The Friday deadline is being called the "Day of Departure" by anti-Mubarak protestors.
According to Al Jazeera Mubarak supporters are not present in Tahrir Square while soldiers are checking the identity cards of those trying to enter the area.
Earlier, Egyptian Army tanks and soldiers in riot gear surrounded Tahrir Square. President Mubarak has been given the deadline of Friday to step down.
President Mubarak told ABC's Christiane Amanpour that he wants to step down but fears that there will be chaos in the country.
He also blamed the banned Muslim Brotherhood for the violence and protests in Egypt against his 30-year rule. More than 150 people have been killed and thousands injured in the uprising which began on Tuesday last.
There has been a crackdown on journalists in Egypt with many being detained and their cameras, tapes and identity cards being impounded.
CNN-IBN Foreign Affairs Editor Surya Gangadharan and video journalist Rajesh Bhardwaj were detained by Cairo police on Friday and released after two hours. They were questioned by police officials before being released.
Rajesh Bhardwaj had also been detained by Egyptian authorities on Thursday while he was shooting the protests at Tahrir Square. His identity card and tapes were confiscated and burnt.