Thursday, February 3, 2011

Israel: US urges investigation into violent attacks against protesters in Egypt

U.S. urges Egypt to investigate attacks on Cairo protesters
White House spokesman on clashes which left 3 dead: If any of the violence is instigated by the government, it should stop immediately.
By Natasha Mozgovaya

"The United States Secretary of State urged Egypt to investigate the attacks on Cairo protesters that left three dead on Wednesday and over 600 injured, the U.S. State Department spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Hundreds were wounded and three people were killed on Wednesday when several thousand supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attacked anti-government protesters in Cairo by raining stones, bottles and firebombs on each other in scenes of uncontrolled violence as soldiers stood by without intervening.

"Government backers galloped in on horses and camels, only to be dragged to the ground and beaten bloody. The attacks happened only hours after Mubarak gave a speech rejecting demands that he end his nearly 30-year reign on the country immediately.

"U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Egypt's new Vice President Omar Suleiman about Wednesday's attacks, encouraging him to "hold those responsible fully accountable for this violence."

"We don't know who unleashed these thugs on the streets of Cairo. They've been identified as supporters of the government," Crowley said. "But whoever they are, there needs to be accountability."

"White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said earlier that "If any of the violence is instigated by the government, it should stop immediately." He declined to speculate whether the Egyptian government was in fact behind the violence although protesters content that plainclothes police were among the pro-Mubarak groups.

"In a more pointed comment about the attacks on the anti-government protesters, a senior U.S. official said it was clear that "somebody loyal to Mubarak has unleashed these guys to try to intimidate the protesters". "

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