Hundreds Injured in Cairo Riots
Hundreds have been injured in what is shaping up as a potential Egyptian civil war. Pro and anti-government demonstrators battled each other Wednesday afternoon and evening in Cairo's central Tahrir Square.
Both sides were hurling rocks at each other, as tear gas grenades were fired at the crowd. Similar scenes were reported in Alexandria immediately following an address by President Hosni Mubarak, announcing that he would not leave the country, and that he intended to serve the remaining seven months of his term.
Tens of thousands of Mubarak supporters in Cairo wielding sticks and whips charged on horses and camels against as many others demanding the president's ouster, according to eyewitness reports by the Associated Press.
Banned pan-Arab satellite television news network Al-Jazeera reported that at least one person was killed in the melee and hundreds of others were injured. Shots were heard, but it was unclear who had fired the guns.
According to the al-Arabiya news network, some 500 people have been injured so far in the clashes that have engulfed the Egyptian capital.
Four firebombs were hurled by the rioters as Egyptian soldiers moved in to extinguish the flames, according to a Reuters reporter. Mustafa Naggar, an organizer of the anti-Mubarak movement, told Reuters the firebombs had been thrown by pro-Mubarak "thugs."
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley commented in a Twitter post to the media that the Obama administration was "concerned about detentions and attacks on news media in Egypt. The civil society that Egypt wants to build includes a free press."
The U.S. has expressed support for the participation of the extreme Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which backs terrorism, in any future Egyptian government.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has had little to say about the ongoing chaos, and was careful in his words to reporters when asked for a comment. "I am deeply concerned by the ongoing violence in Egypt," Ban said in a statement after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Wednesday. "I once again urge restraint from all sides."