Update: Egypt denied VP was targeted for assassination
Update: Egypt denied Saturday that Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman was a target of a recent assassination attempt, according to the Associated Press.
A random bullet fired from criminals fighting against each other hit the lead car in Suleiman’s motorcade on Jan. 28, a statement from the Egyptian government said.
The vice president was unharmed in the incident, and no evidence existed showing he was targeted in a premeditated plan, the statement added.
The original story continues below:
An alleged attempt on the life of the newly named vice president of Egypt left two of his bodyguards dead the day after his appointment, a recent report said.
“It’s so organized that it’s been classified an assassination attempt,” Fox News reported Friday.
An unnamed “senior US official” told Fox News that he was amazed the story of Omar Suleiman’s assassination attempt had not been “picked up” yet.
The attempt on Suleiman’s life reportedly happened during a motorcade the day after embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak named him to his cabinet on January 29.
However, Richard Engel, the NBC News correspondent in Cairo, said on Twitter that the Sueiman assassination story is merely a rumor.
“#egypt re-reports of assassination attempt against Suleiman. US source says ‘NO evidence of any attempt…rumor originated with media,’ Engel wrote late Friday.
When asked about the report of a failed assassination, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told Fox News, “I’m not going to … get into that question.”
Suleiman is seen as a likely successor to President Mubarak.
Gunshots erupted Friday for a few minutes at Cairo’s central Tahrir (Liberation) Square, the epicenter of protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year grip on power, an AFP correspondent reported.
There were no immediate reports of casualties despite more than 10,000 people hunkering down in the square for the night to demand Mubarak’s departure, a new parliament and the installation of an interim government.
On the Muslim day of prayers and rest, tens of thousands of people from all walks of life filled the square earlier on Friday for a giant “day of departure” rally.
The square has seen 11 straight days of protests that have shaken the pillars of Mubarak’s three-decade rule.
This video is from Fox News, broadcast Feb. 4, 2011, sniped via Mediaite.