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ElBaradei ready to lead Egypt revolution

Prominent Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei says he is ready to lead Egypt’s protest movements with the aim of enabling a “peaceful transition” of power.

The former UN nuclear chief, who is widely viewed as an agent for democracy, travelled to Egypt from Vienna on Thursday to join current demonstrations against President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade-long rule over the country, AFP reported.

“It is a critical time in the life of Egypt. I have come to participate with the Egyptian people,” he said.

“If people, in particularly young people, if they want me to lead the transition I will not let them down. My priority right now is to see a new Egypt and to see a new Egypt through peaceful transition.”

Also on Thursday, Egyptians held the third consecutive day of unprecedented countrywide protests, during which seven people were killed, more than 100 sustained injuries and allegedly around 1,000 protesters were placed under arrest.

The demonstrations, which have prompted Cairo to impose a curfew in the canal city of Suez on Wednesday, were motivated by the recent popular revolution in Tunisia, which ended the 23-year-long rule of the country’s President Zine El Abidin Ben Ali, sending him fleeing to Saudi Arabia.

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