Mubarak's location unknown amid conflicting reports

Questions about Mubarak’s location taking center stage


Amid rapidly changing developments in Egypt and conflicting reports about the nature of power transition, questions about the location of embattled President Hosni Mubarak are taking center stage in different local and international news media.

While Egypt's state TV reported that Mubarak will deliver a statement live from his palace, earlier Egyptian media reports suggested that Mubarak had already departed to the Sinai resort of Sharm Eshiskh onboard a military airplane and was accompanied by chief of staff of the armed forces, Lt. Gen. Sami Annan.

Other local reports indicated that Mubarak has flown to an "unknown" destination.

US-based Al-Hurra TV reported that Mubarak was flying toward the United Arab Emirates and was expected in Dubai in an hour.

Reports about the whereabouts of the 82-year old president came amid growing speculation about the nature of power transition in the country.

Two main scenarios have been suggested by many political observers.

The first suggests that Mubarak would step aside and delegate his civilian authorities to his Vice President Omar Suleiman and his military authorities to the army.

The second predicts that coup d’état has already taken place and that a high military council is now being formed to run the country for an interim period and name a cabinet to be headed by the current Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq

(Translate from Arabic by Mustapha Ajbaili)