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(via NPR)

Triumphant Egyptians, fresh from toppling President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, once again poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday, many vowing to stay put until the military guarantees the protesters’ hard-fought freedoms.

The euphoria from Friday’s resignation of Mubarak after three decades in power still infused the crowd gathered at the square — the center of weeks of anti-government protests involving hundreds of thousands of Egyptians.

‘We’ve shown that nothing is impossible,’ Sarah Hawas, an American-born student living in Cairo, told NPR.

Even as the festivities in Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, went on Saturday, the first signs of normalcy were returning. Burned-out vehicles were towed away and streets were swept clean by people, some wearing placards reading: ‘Sorry for the inconvenience, but we’re building Egypt.’ Soldiers removed barricades to open a road leading to the square.

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In Egypt’s second-largest city of Alexandria, where major anti-government protests also took place, trash from the post-Mubarak party was quickly cleaned up. Shops opened, traffic was back on the streets and from all appearances, it looked like business as usual in the Mediterranean port city.

But amid the celebrating there was also suspicion that the military council left in charge when Mubarak stepped down might overstay its welcome as an interim stabilizing force on the road to free and fair elections and genuine democracy.

‘We have to see how the army will orchestrate a democratic transfer of power. We have to wait and see,’ said Ali Mohammed, a sales manager camped out on the square.

Nadal Saqr, a university professor, insisted protesters should stay until the army offers ‘clear assurances’ that their demands for democracy are met.

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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Tahrir Square Celebration and Clean Up After Mubarak Cedes Power

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