Anderson Cooper ‘punched in the head’ 10 times by pro-Mubarak thugs
UPDATE: CNN aired shaky footage Wednesday of reporter Anderson Cooper’s camera crew under attack during the protests in Cairo.
The footage showed what Cooper said were pro-Mubarak counter-protesters trying to stop the crew from filming. Cooper had said earlier he was hit 10 times by protesters, the video only shows him fending off protesters trying to stop his crew from reaching the city’s Liberation Square.
The following video was broadcast on CNN, Feb. 2, 2011 and uploaded to the web by Mediaite.
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS BELOW
CNN’s Anderson Cooper said Wednesday that he and his crew were violently attacked by pro-Mubarak forces as they tried to make their way through the streets of Cairo.
“Anderson Cooper punched 10 times in the head as pro-Mubarak mob surrounds him and his crew at Cairo rally,” Maan News Agency’s George Hale tweeted.
Cooper described his ordeal on CNN’s American Morning.
“I just tried to make my way to Liberation Square and got as far as the Egyptian Museum and with my team: Marion Fox, my producer and Neil, my cameraman,” he began.
“One man grabbed Neil’s camera and started screaming, ‘no, no,’ trying to take the camera from him. We intervened peacefully, and literally that was the switch that ignited the crowd, and they just set upon us, punching us, kicking us,” Cooper continued.
“We had, I mean, literally a mob of people surround us just, you know, I got punched in the head probably a good ten times or so, and we literally ended up being turned around by the crowd, and we had tried to walk because we didn’t want to run because if we started to run, the crowd would, you know, sense fear and attack us even more,” he said.
“All of us are fine. My producer was roughed up, my female producer was roughed up by the crowd as well. They clearly do not want cameras present in the square and are incredibly hostile to any media.”
“Down in the crowd, can you even make out which side is which?” asked CNN host TJ Holmes. “Who is who? Who is coming after and attacking you guys you?”
“Well, it’s clear. I know exactly who is attacking us, it’s the pro mubarak forces, no doubt about it.”
Moments later, a female caller named Salma Eltarzi told Al Jazeera that pro-Mubarak forces were trying to enter Tahrir Square.
“Please do no call them protesters,” she pleaded. “Protesters do not come in government busses. They do not come armed.”
“People are leaving the women in the middle [of the square]. The men are going to the entrances to try to stop them from entering… People are beaten up. People are drowning in their blood,” she frantically reported.
This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast Feb. 2, 2011.
This video is from Al Jazeera, broadcast Feb. 2, 2011.
This video is from The Associated Press, broadcast Feb. 2, 2011.