Has Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak given shoot-to-kill orders to the army in a desperate attempt to face down the swelling anti-government protests?

Iran's Press TV has reported he has.

Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has reportedly given his armed forces the authority to shoot-to-kill as anti-government protests gain momentum, a Press TV report said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest opposition force in Egypt, has confirmed the government has given the army powers to shoot and kill protesters.

So far more than 150 people have been killed and more than a thousand wounded in violent civil protests that flared across Egypt last week close on the heels of the Tunisia's Jasmine revolution that removed Ben Ali's decades-old oppressive regime.

Reports say the army has been ordered to shoot when it sees fit. Military helicopters and jet fighters fly over major locations as the numbers of protesters multiply there, the Press TV reported.

Mubarak visited the military headquarters on Sunday and held discussions with top military commanders and troops while military aircraft were unleashed on low altitude sorties over protesting crowds in Cairo on Sunday in a show of the government’s control over the armed forces and the intent to quell the revolt.

Mubarak has also rejigged his government in the face of massive protests calling for reform in the county reeling from poverty, price hike and lack of political freedom. However, the protesters whose ranks are swelling by the day, want nothing short of Mubarak's resignation.