Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq resigns

File picture of Ahmed Shafiq on 20 January 2011 Mr Shafiq was appointed days before President Mubarak was forced out of office

Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has resigned, the country's ruling military council has announced in a statement.

A former transport minister, Essam Sharaf, has been asked to form a new government, the statement added.

Mr Shafiq was appointed days before President Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office following days of anti-government protests.

Protesters saw Mr Shafiq as too closely associated to Mr Mubarak's rule, observers say.

Mr Shafiq was appointed by Mr Mubarak just days before he stepped down on 11 February after several weeks of popular protests against his rule.

"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces decided to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and appointed Essam Sharaf to form the new government," the army said in a statement on its Facebook page.

It had been one of the protesters' key demands that Mr Shafiq and other top ministers appointed at the end of the Mubarak rule step down.

On Monday, Egypt issued a travel ban on the ousted president and his family.

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