US denies involvement in Cairo hit-and-run
CAIRO — The US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday denied its staff were behind the wheel of what appeared to be an official vehicle that mowed down dozens of protesters in a high-speed hit-and-run captured on video.
“We have seen a video that alleges a US diplomatic vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run incident that injured dozens in Cairo. We are certain that no embassy employees or diplomats were involved in this incident,” it said.
“On January 28, however, a number of our US embassy vehicles were stolen. Since these vehicles were stolen, we have heard reports of their use in violent and criminal acts. If true, we deplore these acts and the perpetrators.”
The video in question, widely circulated on the YouTube sharing site, shows what appears to be a white embassy van speeding down a street packed with protesters, knocking several of them over without slowing down.
It appears to have been filmed on January 28, when tens of thousands of Egyptians demanding the ouster of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak rampaged through central Cairo, torching his ruling party’s headquarters.
The US embassy in Cairo is a few blocks from Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the youth-led protests demanding an end to Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
This video was published to YouTube on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. Warning: Graphic violence.