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Celebrations across West Asia

Celebrations erupted across the Middle East on Friday after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president. From Beirut to Gaza, people rushed into the streets, handing out candy, setting off fireworks and shooting in the air.

world Updated: Feb 12, 2011 01:00 IST

Celebrations erupted across the Middle East on Friday after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president. From Beirut to Gaza, people rushed into the streets, handing out candy, setting off fireworks and shooting in the air.

Even in Israel, which had watched the Egyptian protesters' uprising against Mubarak with concern, a former Cabinet minister said Mubarak did the right thing. "The street won. There was nothing that could be done," former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who knew Mubarak said.

Moments after Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement of Mubarak's resignation, fireworks lit up the sky over Beirut. Celebratory gunfire rang out in the Shiite-dominated areas in south Lebanon and in Beirut.

On Al-Manar TV, the station run by the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah faction, anchor Amr Nassef, cried emotionally on the air and said: "Allahu Akbar, the Pharaoh is dead. Am I dreaming? I'm afraid to be dreaming."

In Tunisia, where a successful uprising expelled a longtime leader only weeks earlier, cries of joy and the thundering honking of horns greeted the announcement.