Egypt crisis: Death toll at 11, health ministry says; 916 injured
Demonstrators continued to gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square Saturday morning in defiance of a government-imposed curfew.
February 4th, 2011
10:25 AM ET

Egypt crisis: Death toll at 11, health ministry says; 916 injured

Read full coverage of the unrest in Egypt updated continually by CNN reporters worldwide. Send your photos and video to iReport and see CNN in Arabic here. See also this strong roundup of timely, insightful views on the wave of upheaval in the Arab world.

[Update 5:05 a.m. in Cairo, 10:05 p.m. ET] CNN is broadcasting from a hidden location in Cairo amid threats against journalists. CNN freelancer journalist Ian Lee reports that sporadic gunfire around Tahrir Square subsided around 2:30 a.m. in Cairo. The Army fired the shots in the air in an effort to disperse pro-Mubarak protesters trying to breach the lines separating them from anti-government activists lingering in the square in defiance of a government-imposed curfew, a source tells Lee.

[Update 4:30 a.m. in Cairo, 9:30 p.m. ET] A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told CNN's John King that his organization will not participate in Egypt's general election now planned for September. He said that any talks regarding Egypt's future should only take place after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak steps down.

"We are not looking for any power at all," Essam el-Erian said.

[Update 3:55 a.m. in Cairo, 8:55 p.m. ET] Egypt's one small nuclear reactor, used primarily for medical research, has been shut down and is now secure, a U.S. State Department official said. Egyptian soldiers have been deployed to the Nuclear Research Center in Inshas, an area about 40 miles from the scene of the worst protests in Cairo, according to the official.

[Update 4:30 a.m. in Cairo, 9:30 p.m. ET] Ammar Sherie is a renowned musician. Naguib Sawiris made billions in the telecom business. Veteran diplomat Amre Moussa is the Arab League's secretary-general.

These three and 16 other Egyptians have put their heads and hearts together to form the "Committee of the Wise," a group of independent elite that wants to be at the table during crucial government transition talks.

The committee late Friday called on protests to continue at Tahrir Square every Tuesday and Friday until President Hosni Mubarak "resigns and makes true the demands of the people."

Mubarak, who has led the African nation for three decades, said he has no intention of stepping down until September, when his term ends. But 11 days of bloody protests and high tension have offered no assurance
of that outcome.

[Update 3:30 a.m. in Cairo, 8:30 p.m. ET] Five human rights activists - including two from Amnesty International and one from Human Rights Watch - were released Friday by Egyptian military police, the two groups said in statements. They were among some 35 people including international reporters and Egyptian lawyers and activists, some of whom remain in custody, according to the two groups' statements detained on Thursday at the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in Cairo.

[Update 3:00 a.m. in Cairo, 8:00 p.m. ET] Protesters in Iraq took to the streets again Friday, showing solidarity with popular demonstrators in Egypt that they say inspired them to publicly voice concerns about their own government.

[Update 2:45 a.m. in Cairo, 7:45 p.m. ET] The Egyptian government viewed U.S. President Barack Obama's statement Friday as very "positive," according to an official under Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, saying that it "clarified innuendos" that had left a lot of ambiguity as to how the White House sees events in Egypt. The Egyptian official said the remarks about Mubarak's objectives create a better atmosphere for a transition.

[Update 2:18 a.m. in Cairo, 7:17 p.m. ET] iReporter and bookstore manager Dax Bennett Roque took these pictures at today's "Day of Depature" rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square, capturing the protest calling for President Hosni Mubarak's resignation from various angles.

[Update 2:00 a.m. in Cairo, 7:00 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama condemned the attacks on journalists in Egypt Friday amid mounting criticism that President Hosni Mubarark is orchestrating the violence to suppress international coverage of bloodshed by pro-government operatives against peaceful protesters.

"We continue to be crystal clear that we oppose violence as a response to this crisis," Obama said. "We are sending a strong, unequivocal message: Attacks on reporters are unacceptable. Attacks on human rights activists are unacceptable. Attacks on peaceful protesters are unacceptable."

[Update 1:00 a.m. in Cairo, 6:00 p.m. ET] Protesters in the United States upset with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak gathered in New York City's Times Square Friday, demanding the embattled leader resign.

[Update 12:00 a.m. in Cairo, 5:00 p.m. ET] An Egyptian military spokesman said on state-run Nile TV that the curfew imposed across Cairo and beyond would extend from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. This is a shorter span than had been imposed previously, with the curfew once going from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. The government order has not appeared to keep anti-government demonstrators, as well as those favoring President Hosni Mubarak's regime, from hitting the streets.

[Update 10:52 p.m. in Cairo, 3:52 p.m. ET] A video circulating on YouTube shows what appears to be a white diplomatic van running over people in a crowd.

The video is dated the 28th of January and shows the van running over protestors in a street that appears to lead to Tahrir Square.

The U.S. State Department is very aware of the video and they are checking it out, says spokesman P.J. Crowley. He said it is possible it was a U.S. Embassy van stolen during the recent unrest.

[Update 10:25 p.m. in Cairo, 3:25 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama said the transition to a new government in Egypt "must begin now" in order to address the grievances of the Egyptian people. He also reiterated his opposition to the use of violence against protesters and members of the press.

Obama said it is his understanding that discussions between the government and the opposition have started. Negotiations must "include a broad represenation of the Egyptian opposition," he said. "The entire world is watching."

[Update 9:56 p.m. in Cairo, 2:56 p.m. ET] White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday the administration remains unsatisfied with the pace of change in Egypt. Change needs to begin in a "real and concrete and legitimate way," he told reporters.

[Update 9:48 p.m. in Cairo, 2:48 p.m. ET] Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei told CNN Friday that he is willing to run for president "if people want" him to and if Egypt becomes a "democracy based on social justice." ElBaradei declined to elaborate when pressed on whether he planned to seek the presidency.

Catch more of the exclusive interview with Mohamed ElBaradei Friday night on "Parker Spitzer" at 8 ET.

[Update 8:48 p.m. in Cairo, 1:48 p.m. ET] The death toll from the violent clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square has reached 11, Egypt's Health Ministry reported Friday. The ministry earlier said 916 people were injured during the clashes Wednesday.

[Update 8:18 p.m. in Cairo, 1:18 p.m. ET] Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq says compromises are key as the country pursues dialogue with opposition groups. Shafiq says opposition forces are helping Egypt "correct its path."

[Update 7:14 p.m. in Cairo, 12:14 p.m. ET] Authorities have no word on the whereabouts of three French journalists and a French researcher in Egypt, according to France's Foreign Ministry. The journalists work for Le Figaro newspaper and Magneto Presse, and the researcher is employed by Amnesty International, it said.

[Update 6:28 p.m. in Cairo, 11:28 a.m. ET] A security force accompanied by a "gang of thugs" stormed the office of the Muslim Brotherhood's news website Friday and arrested the journalists, technicians, and administrators who were present, the group said on its website. Eyewitnesses later saw those arrested taken to the headquarters of the nearby Interior Ministry, the group said.

[Update 6:02 p.m. in Cairo, 11:02 a.m. ET] Eyewitnesses tell CNN correspondent Ivan Watson that pro and anti-Mubarak protesters are fighting running battles close to Talaat Harb Square, one-third of a mile (0.5 kilometer) from Tahrir Square. CNN has not independently confirmed the report.

[Update 5:29 p.m. in Cairo, 10:25 a.m. ET] Contrasting tweets sent one minute apart by two CNN correspondents in Cairo:

Arwa Damon: Outside of square situ very tense, we has 2 B very subtle 2 film, small pro-mubarak grps gathering. "Life" at near standstill

Ben Wedeman: Stuck in friendly crowd of 500 waiting to get in to tahrir

[Update 5:25 p.m. in Cairo, 10:25 a.m. ET] Tens of thousands of Egyptians protesting in Cairo's Tahrir Square cheered an announcement on state television Friday that the public prosecutor had frozen the assets of the country's trade minister and imposed a travel ban on him.

[Update 5 p.m. in Cairo, 10 a.m. ET] A communique from the European Council, a conference of the leaders of 27 countries, called on Egyptian authorities "to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people with political reform, not repression." "All parties should show restraint and avoid further violence and begin an orderly transition to a broad-based government," the communique read. "The European Council underlined that this transition process must start now."

[Update 4:22 p.m. in Cairo, 9:22 a.m. ET] About 5,000 people have been injured since the unrest in Egypt began, Egypt's health minister told the Al-Arabiya network on Friday.

[Update 4:08 p.m. in Cairo, 9:08 a.m. ET] Egypt's health minister told state TV Friday he plans to go to Cairo's Tahrir Square, check on the huge crowd and coordinate efforts with the country's military.

[Update 3:37 p.m. in Cairo, 8:37 a.m. ET] Navi Pillay, the U.N. human rights chief, said on Friday there must be a "transparent and impartial" probe into whether the violence in Egypt was planned.

[Update 3:16 p.m. in Cairo, 8:16 a.m. ET] About 35,000 people have taken to the streets Friday in the Egyptian city of Suez, a spokesman for opposition leader Ayman Nour told CNN.

A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at state security headquarters in the Egyptian Sinai town of El Arish, a government official told CNN Friday. The official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak about the incident, said the strike caused a fire but there were no casualties.

[Update 3:02 p.m. in Cairo, 8:02 a.m. ET] The spokesman for Al-Azhar University, the prestigious center for Sunni Muslim education in Cairo, told CNN Friday he has resigned from his position and joined the anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square.

[Update 2:53 p.m. in Cairo, 7:53 a.m. ET] Amre Moussa, the Arab League's secretary-general and a veteran Egyptian diplomat, joined protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, state-run Nile TV reported. Time magazine has described him as "perhaps the most adored public servant in the Arab world."

[Update 2:45 p.m. in Cairo, 7:45 a.m. ET] Alan Fisher, an Al-Jazeera correspondent, sent a Twitter message saying "thugs" had stormed and trashed the network's Arabic office in Cairo.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says the Egyptian government has failed to meet the "aspirations" of its people for a "credible" transition, the BBC reports via Twitter.

[Update 1:44 p.m. in Cairo, 6:44 a.m. ET] The U.S. State Department says it has no evacuation flights from Egypt planned for Friday.

[Update 12:49 p.m. Friday in Cairo, 5:49 a.m. Friday ET] More protesters gathered Friday at a mosque in central Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city. Writings on the walls leading to the mosque include "Pharaoh's last day," "leave us alone old man" and "game over."

The streets leading to the Al Kaed Ibrahim mosque were packed as a sermon began for midday prayers.

Pro-Mubarak groups were notably absent from Tahrir Square, where they clashed with anti-government protesters earlier this week.

Pro-government supporters are gathering at a mosque in Cairo for a "day of loyalty." Anti-government demonstrators are calling Friday for a "day of departure" and "day of farewell."

[Update 11:55 a.m. Friday in Cairo, 4:55 a.m. Friday ET] Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said Friday that the uprising in Egypt is a blow to U.S. policies in the region, Iran's state media reported. "The people of Egypt, if they are able to push this through, this will be a defeat for the U.S.," he said.

[Update 11:10 a.m. Friday in Cairo, 4:10 a.m. Friday ET] Anti-government protesters beat drums, played music and chanted slogans at Tahrir Square, which has become ground zero for demonstrators demanding an end to Mubarak's three decades in power.

Military forces freed 18 journalists "captured by thugs and took them to a safe place," state media reported.

Egypt's defense minister is on his way to the square with some senior military officials, state media reported.

[Update 10:00 a.m. Friday in Cairo, 3:00 a.m. Friday ET] The Egyptian government's official figures on the number of people injured in unrest has climbed to 896, the country's health minister told state media. Eight people have been killed, he said.

[Update 9:17 a.m. Friday in Cairo, 2:17 a.m. Friday ET] Demonstrators had stacked piles of rocks Friday throughout Cairo's Tahrir Square, where a large number of people had already gathered by 9 a.m. (2 a.m. ET). Troops surrounded the area, and anti-government protesters manned their own security checkpoints. Anti-government demonstrators have dubbed Friday "Day of Farewell" and "Day of Departure" and planned large protests that they hope will prompt Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

[Update 6:56 a.m. Friday in Cairo, 11:56 p.m. Thursday ET] Egyptian authorities had stepped up security around Cairo's Tahrir Square early Friday morning, with additional troops in riot gear carrying automatic weapons and blocking the nearby October 6 bridge, CNN's Thomas Evans reported.

Troops have detained some people leaving the square, pointing guns at them and forcing them to lay on the ground.

Anti-government demonstrators have dubbed Friday "Day of Farewell" and "Day of Departure" and planned large protests that they hope will prompt President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

[Update 4:50 a.m. in Cairo, 9:50 p.m. ET] National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Thursday night that U.S. officials have discussed with Egyptian officials "a variety of different ways" in which a new government could take shape. But Vietor stressed "all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people."

Also, a senior official in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration knocked down a New York Times report that the Egyptians and Americans were near consensus on a specific proposal.

[Update 4:47 a.m. in Cairo, 9:47 p.m. ET] Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman says blame for some of the unrest in Egypt goes to the media.

"I actually blame certain friendly nations who have television channels, they are not friendly at all, who have intensified the youth against the nation and the state," Suleiman told state-run Nile TV. "They are actually continuing. They have filled in the minds of the youth with wrongdoings, with allegations, and this is unacceptable."

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soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. obsthetimes

    The Iranian mullahs. They have no shame and are unaware of their schizophrenia. Khamenei claimed today that Egypt was a failure of US policy. That may be true, but he has totally forgotten Iran's own brutal repression last year, during which thousands of regime thugs beat up and randomly shot young Tehranians.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. guy

    damn all arabs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RHSimard

    I have before me an article from the Associated Press about a delegation of Muslim dignitaries, side by side with Jews and Christians, visiting Aschwitz to honor the victims of the Holocaust. A bit of that article:

    ==== EXCERPT ====
    In a bid to fight anti-Semitism and bridge cultural rifts, a large delegation of
    Muslim dignitaries visited Auschwitz on Tuesday to pay tribute to the millions
    of Jews and others who were systematically killed in the Holocaust.

    The group of some 150 people included representatives from Morocco, Jordan,
    Turkey and Iraq, as well as rabbis, Holocaust survivors and Christian
    representatives. Several European dignitaries also were part of the group,
    including the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    "Muslims have to stand up with Jewish friends because in Europe, anti-Semitism
    is rising and where there is anti-Semitism, Islamophobia is not far away," said
    British Mufti Abduljalil Sajid.
    ==== END EXCERPT ====

    Imagine, a set of intelligent, educated, devoted Muslims, Jews and Christians, together, thinking not about what separates us, but what unites us: our humanity.

    It is not Islam that is a problem; it is only the warped, hate-filled radicals who defile the religion they in whose name they profess to be acting, selecting verses from the Quran that suit them and ignoring the rest, twisting them into justifications for atrocious acts motivated by base temporal passions, just as have countless others over the centuries who have wrapped their evil in religion to try to hide it from the world, but more than that, from themselves.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. guy

    i hate arabs. let them kill each other

    February 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jeff

    President Obama says due to crisis mubark must go.. if this was happing in the US he would call for the arrest and prosecution of the protestors Since when does america not stand for law and order these people are breaking every law known to man and all of them should be arrested tried and convicted the protesters are nothing more then animals tearing up their city the government is not to blame they are Obama figure this out and fight for justice not what is easy

    February 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mohamed

    It is time to blow Ayatollah Khamenei's a s s up. He is a curse of Iran

    February 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Habib

    Mo El Baradei is a little self-serving carpet-bagger terd who has lived in Vienna for the past 30 years. Now he fancies himself as the next pharoah. He is just a tool of extremists – no better than the cureent regime.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MG

    It's striking to see the people standing in Tharir Square calling for democracy, while in fact are far apart understanding anything about democracy. This revolution has started innocently by ordinary Egyptians who actually wanted change and then quickly transitioned into the hands of peple who are seeking political powers in Egypt ; ones that are simply using the term "democracy" to gain political advantage. The people standing in Tharir today do not present the ordinary Egyptian; they present groups of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas; and others who are just trying to use the existing situation for personal interests. We ask that you pray for the people of Egypt – to save the future of our country.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jerry NY

      great analysis !! I agree very strongly with this

      February 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. EB

    Just like a politician, I honestly haven't heard people asking him to run for president, or to even lead the protests. Seems like he just showed up to ride the wave for his own political gains.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. JC

    Mubarak : Bad
    Muslim Brotherhood(the protesters) : worse
    Al-Qaeda : worst

    Your choice my friend. BTW, Al-Qaeda was branched off from the Muslim Brotherhood.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Peter

    By the looks of some of these anti-reporter comments, maybe Ed Murrow should have kept his mouth shut about Joe McCarthy. These people must live on another planet!

    February 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rodney King

    People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....They won the battle, but they haven't won the war....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. john2397

    WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT THESE FRIENDS?
    The other friends of the USA in the middle east are nothing less than Mubarak. They are known dictators and thugs and oppressors. It would be much better for America to get rid of these corrupt and autocrats who are making fun of America's diplomacy, democracy and reputation. Yes, America wanted them during the cold war and before, but now they are of no use to us but a big liability. They do not sell their oil at price of water but at the market rate designed by these goons and throwing few billions to buy our arms and favor. They hide or spent their fund for their own benefits rather than the masses. If we do not wake-up now, we will create more and more anti-Americans and more and more terrorists incoming decade. Our war on terror will never end but has to widen year by year curtailing our own civil liberty and human rights too. Hope, Obama should not bow down to pressure form these KINGS and Dictators AND apartheid regime in that part of the world.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Little Tin God

    Hey! Let's nuke em till they glow and let allah sort them out!

    February 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Summarex

      Who are these brave men who speak so boldly across the ethernet?

      February 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Summarex

    As the IAEA chief, this animal was instrumental in facilitating the murder of 100K innocent Iraqis. Now he wants to be president of Egypt! I have a better idea. Put a bullet through his head.

    February 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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