CNN reporter Anderson Cooper admitted Thursday he was “a little bit scared” for his safety after being repeatedly attacked by supporters of embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Cooper and his crew were violently attacked by pro-Mubarak forces Wednesday as they tried to make their way through the streets of Cairo. A number of other journalists have reportedly been attacked by pro-Mubarak mobs as well.
“I can’t tell you where we are, frankly for our own safety,” Cooper said while sitting in a dimly lit room.
“Systematically, we have seen journalists attacked… we would like to be showing you pictures, live pictures, of what’s happening in Liberation Square right now, but we can’t do that because our cameras have systematically been taken down through threats, through intimidation, through actual physical attacks.”
“I don’t mind telling you I am a little bit scared, because we frankly don’t really know what the next few hours will hold,” he added. “And I think there’s a lot of people who are scared tonight in Egypt.”
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour faced similar treatment Wednesday. While trying to talk to Mubarak supporters, she was threatened and told to turn back. Upon retreating, she had the windshield of her car broken with a rock.
“There’s a real anti-Western reporter sentiment there,” ABC’s Robin Roberts noted Thursday. “Is there still that sense?”
“The pro-Mubarak supporters have been against the journalists,” Amanpour replied. “Partly this is because the state television, some of the local press, the state press, has been blaming journalists.
“And a statement from the Foreign Ministry was issued overnight saying, this uprising against Mubarak, is, quote, a foreign conspiracy, led by international journalists. So, those people who been aggressive towards us are not the anti-Mubarak demonstrators. They’re the pro-regime thugs and agitators that have been sent in to disrupt the protests.”
In recent days, reporters have become targets in Egypt. Western journalists have been roughed up by pro-Mubarak demonstrators, and reporters from around the world have been arrested or detained by Egyptian security forces.
As late as Thursday, there were reports that the Egyptian Army had begun to round up journalists, alleging it was for their own protection. Two correspondents from The New York Times were reportedly detained.
The Washington Post also reported having reporters arrested Thursday.
Fox News foreign correspondent Greg Palkot and his cameraman Olaf Wiig were severely beaten by pro-Mubarak supporters Wednesday. Both were hospitalized overnight with severe injuries.
The following video was broadcast on CNN, Feb. 3, 2011 and uploaded by MoxNews.