Egyptians protest the now-ousted Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 5. They were demanding dissolution of the state security agency, and that was announced Tuesday. (Amr Nabil/Associated Press)

Egypt will replace the controversial security agency accused of human rights abuses during the rule of recently ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, the interior minister announced Tuesday.

A new agency will be responsible for national security and fighting terrorism, Maj. Gen. Mansour el-Essawy said.

The dissolution of the state security agency was one of the demands of the protest movement that led an 18-day uprising resulting in Mubarak's ouster.

Since Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11, Egyptians have stormed agency headquarters and offices, seizing documents that could contain evidence of human rights abuses to keep them from being destroyed.

In Egypt for talks with government officials, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the dismantling of the existing security agency. She also urged the country to prepare for free and fair elections.

"Today, Egypt is rising," Clinton said. "Egypt, the mother of the world, is now giving birth to democracy."

With files from The Associated Press