Updated from 6:22 a.m.



) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's son, Gamal, won't seek the presidency, Egypt state TV reports

, following on from the president's announcement Tuesday that he wouldn't run for re-election in the fall


Mubarak supporters clash with protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday.

Many speculated that Mubarak was preparing his 46-year-old son to succeed him despite widespread opposition. Mubarak said he would complete his term to ensure a peaceful transition of power, but many protesters want him out sooner.

Mubarak supporters now are clashing with anti-Mubarak demonstrators who are calling for the president's immediate resignation.

At least six people were killed and hundreds injured after gunfire rang out in the Egyptian capital early Thursday.

Both groups, each made up of about 20,000 people, were lashing out in the square, throwing rocks and firebombs, and attacking each other with metal bars, according to reports.

Egypt Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq appeared on public television on Thursday morning to apologize for the violent and armed attacks that have been made on anti-government protesters.

Shafiq said he has ordered an investigation into the clashes. He said while it is not known whether the attacks were organized, it is clear that the pro-Mubarak groups came into Tahrir Square "with the intention to create violence and riot."

"When investigations reveal who is behind this crime and who allowed it to happen, I promise they will be held accountable and will be punished for what they did," Shafiq said in his address.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition leader, said he had heard government supporters were sending men to Tahrir Square to attack protesters,

The Wall Street Journal


Some reports speculated that the pro-Mubarak group was organized by security officials, and that Egyptian authorities sparked the violent clashes in the square in order to necessitate Mubarak's control over the situation. The government continues to deny any involvement.

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Images of burning vehicles and Molotov cocktails from Egypt showed the level of violence has risen.

The U.S. State Department,

in a post on Twitter

, urged any Americans who want to leave Egypt should head to the airport "ASAP."

"U.S. citizens wishing to depart #Egypt on USG flight should proceed to airport ASAP after the morning end of curfew," the Twitter post said.

The struggle that has erupted between the people comes after 10 consecutive days of political upheaval and civil unrest in Egypt as protesters called for an end to Mubarak's 30-year rule over the ancient nation.

Mubarak's supporters believe that the leader has made enough concessions and should stay in power to ensure stability after days of rioting rocked the nation.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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