UPDATE 1-Army praises Mubarak, martyrs - statement

Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:49pm GMT

(Adds quotes, details)

CAIRO Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egypt's higher military council said on Friday it would announce measures for a transitional phase after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down and handed power to the armed forces.

In a statement, titled "Communique No. 3", it praised Mubarak for stepping down "in the interests of the nation" and said it "salutes the martyrs" who lost their lives in the unrest.

"We know the extent of the gravity and seriousness of this issue and the demands of the people to initiate radical changes," the statement said. "The higher military council is studying this issue to achieve the hopes of our great people".

"The council will issue a statement outlining the steps and procedures and directives that will be taken, confirming at the same time that there is no alternative to the legitimacy acceptable to the people," it added.

A source had earlier released the statement to Reuters before it was read out on television. (Reporting by Marwa Awad, Writing by Edmund Blair)

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.