1 February 2011
Last updated at 09:16
Egypt's protest movement has called for a million-strong march through Cairo later as part of its campaign to oust President Hosni Mubarak.
Thousands have flocked to Cairo's Tahrir Square for the event and in Egypt's second city Alexandria, crowds gathered near the railway station hoping to travel to join the protest, although officials said train and bus services would not be operating.
The protesters, who have also called for an indefinite general strike, have been encouraged by an announcement from the Egyptian army that it will not use force against them.
The protesters have defied a high military presence - and a curfew which has been lengthened several times - for an eighth consecutive day.
Mr Mubarak has replaced his cabinet in attempt to appease the protesters, but he has since reappointed many of the same ministers, much to the fury of the crowds assembled in Cairo.
Correspondents said the army appeared to be playing a more assertive role on the streets on Monday, setting roadblocks and checkpoint to keep the numbers in the square down.
But later on Monday, the military said it believed the protests to be legitimate, releasing a statement saying it would not use force to break up demonstrations.
The week of unrest, which has seen violent clashes between police and protesters, has left at least 100 people dead across Egypt.
Armed troops are now guarding the National Museum, which houses many of Egypt's priceless antiquities, after a group which broke in on Friday night damaged two mummies and dozens of smaller items.
The iconic pyramids outside Cairo are also being given armed protection.
Residents, armed with makeshift weapons, have formed neighbourhood watch groups to guard their homes against looters.
Fearing further unrest, people have rushed to replenish their stocks of bread, the mainstay of many Egyptians' diets.
Meanwhile, thousands of tourists and visitors are crowding into Cairo's main airport in an attempt to leave the country.