As hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters converge in central Cairo on the eighth day of unrest in Egypt, the U.S. government has instructed all of its non-emergency staff and their families to evacuate the country.

While most of the demonstrations have been peaceful there have also been reports of criminal activity and looting.

The US state department said it would help with the evacuation, but warned that such departures might be delayed by continued disruptions at the airport and city streets.

More than 1,200 American citizens have been safely removed from Egypt and another 1,400 are expected to go over the next few days.

Other major countries, including Canada and India, are enacted similar evacuations of their citizens.