Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak has fled the country, said Ahlul Bayt News Agency.

The report quoting presidential sources said the video of Mubarak's TV address on Thursday was a pre-recorded one.

Hosni Mubarak's wife and son had reportedly left the country last month, in the wake of violent protests against the government.

Thousands of Egyptians defied a ban on protests by returning to Egypt's streets and calling for Hosni Mubarak to leave office, and some scuffled with police. Activists had called on Egyptians to take to the streets again to end Mubarak's 30-year rule.

The opposition Muslim Brotherhood earlier said on its official website that Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq confirmed the possibility that the out-of-favor Egyptian president will step down within few hours and leave amid continued pro-democracy protests.

Unconfirmed reports also said Mubarak had already traveled to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh with his army chief of staff.

Other media reports indicated that the Egyptian army has taken over presidential powers, saying it supports the legitimate demands of people and that it is taking measures to protect the people.

Earlier Thursday, CIA Director Leon Panetta told Congress that there is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening. In an afternoon speech to university students in Michigan, Obama gave no indication that he expected otherwise, calling the events in Egypt a moment of transformation that's taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change,” The Washington Post reported.

Some leaders warned that Mubarak was risking a bloody revolt. There is no way the Egyptian people right now are ready to accept either the president or the vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition leader, told CNN. They have lost all authority, all legitimacy. . . . My fear is that the situation will turn violent.