ElBaradei Says Egypt Army Should Prevent ‘Carnage’

Egyptian Opposition Campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei
Egyptian opposition campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei. Photographer: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Egyptian opposition campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the United Nations atomic agency, said the army should be deployed to end clashes in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square between anti-government protesters and people loyal to President Hosni Mubarak.

ElBaradei, speaking in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s “The World at One” program, said today’s outbreak of violence in the capital was the result of a “criminal regime” that “has to go immediately.” He said the inaction of police was irresponsible and that “thugs” were allowed by authorities to disrupt a peaceful protest.

The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner said the status quo in Egypt is “unsustainable” and that Mubarak must resign. He said Mubarak’s concessions yesterday were “crumbs,” referring to the president’s televised address in which he said he would step down from his post in September rather than seeking re-election in polling scheduled for then.

ElBaradei, 68, said he has no interest in holding any political office in Egypt, though he “won’t let the people down” if he is asked to take a public role.

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