A day after announcing he would hand over most of his power to the vice president, Mubarak finally bowed to demands of protesters for his immediate departure amid escalating protests.
Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall, setting off joyous celebrations in Cairo's central Tahrir Square where several hundred thousand protesters were massed. Fireworks, car horns and celebratory shots in the air are being heard around the city of 18 million.
Outside Mubarak's presidential palace in Cairo, crowds chanted: "The people ousted the president."
One opposition leader whose young supporters were among the organizers of the protest movement calls it "the greatest day of my life." Mohammed ElBaradei tells The Associated Press: "The country has been liberated after decades of repression," and he expects a "beautiful" transition of power.