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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Filed under: Egypt • Protest
soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    Saurabh, no I am not.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Otegbayo Mike

    Where good governance is absent and the true will of the people are submerged, revolution is definitely inevitable !Egyptians face it once & for all but with caution on who takes over.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. satya

    Whatever happens in Egypt let Egyptian people decide

    February 4, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. satya

    The world should know that the great american "war economy" drives all major conflicts in middle east.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Iykin

    What are the leaders doing about it.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas

    The funny thing about government in any form never works it always collapses its has been proven through history every great nation falls every beginning soon follows an end .

    February 4, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nasir ( from Pakistan )

    I PRAY TO GOD that a new dictactor come in pakistan and he disolve democrasy in pakistan. then i will see USA.UN.UK.EU and all world will shout that NOW NOW NOW Dictator should step down and democrasy would be restand.
    WHY ...WHY USA. is not saying same WORDS to Hussni Mubarik . as All Egptyion Nation is on street saying TO STEP DOWN Mubarik..But our Democratic lover USA UK EU and world is silence they dont care what people need. THEY are saying people of Egpht asking from president to step down . SO do we need same now as 30 years is more then enough for a DICTATOR. but i feel Shame now on USA and world role . they just watching show SHAME

    February 4, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • poop

      Nasir, have you considered joining pakistans military and fighting the same force mubarak shelters in egypt that is currently controlling parts of your smaill insignificant "nation?" Talk is cheap. Voices get drowned out by all the gunfire, ya dig?

      February 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ken McLean

    Anyone ever hear of "compromise"! Remember the people you are so angry at are also your brethren. I also oppose the radical views of Islamists but short of bombing them off the earth we need to compromise.
    May I suggest another government come into Egypt to help get them back on track? Any European country like Sweden, Denmark, the Swiss that are not monitarily connected and have a more socialistic form of government that represents the people of the country? Canada would be good except they are now a target for islamist exremists.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    Nasir: Obama Administration is pressuring Mubarak not to hurt protesters. These things take time. I know you feel anger, but please give it time. The majority of Americans support the people of Egypt. Stay safe in Pakistan, Nasir, and may Allah give you strength.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. philuup

    if we americans would have done this when bush was in office we wouldn't have such a messed up country now

    February 4, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Anarchy sure does look appealing. Wow they are having so much fun over there in Egypt. Just think how much better it would be here with all the guns. Party On Teabags

      February 4, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ken McLean

    Does anyone realize the "Americans and Euorpean's" that donate BIllions of there tax dollars to these countries are starting to ask WHY? The people just hate and want to kill us for helping them.

    February 4, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • brenda

      "Help" to egypt from america hasn't gone to the masses. America has helped with military aid to a dictatorship...and we wonder why the people of egypt have contempt for america.

      February 4, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • ArabAtheist

      Well, the U.S. government gives in aid a big chunk of taxpayers money every year, to many benefactors around the world. May I remind you that this is decided by long term strategies that the us government implement in order to further increase their dominance over the world. There are no charities involved here. This is not a lets-donate-to-our-fellow-humans-who-are-not-so-fortunate type of aid. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is a true charitable donation and 10 is a straight up bribe, I would say that the U.S. aid to egypt over the years have been an 8. The U.S. was solidifying its alliance with the egyptian government, not with egypt itself.

      February 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bejoe

    freedom for egypt, don't stop to take off Husni Mubaroc

    February 4, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Elaine

    I have friends in Cairo and one family communicated the banks and ATMS have been closed. I have not heard the media report any information on this. The families have no access to money to buy food. Can CNN confirm?

    February 4, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Daisymay

      Hi Elaine,

      Yes, CNN reported yesteray that the banks, schools, stores, etc. had in fact been closed and in the case of the banks, the ATMs were out of cash. However, the reporters said that they were still able to get food and that some food places were still open.

      February 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave Mahoney

    After having resided in Egypt for eight years, these events are troubling and inspiring. The people must be granted the right to peaceful assembly. The media must be given access to illuminate the trials the people are facing and the kinds of opposition the government will impose upon them.

    Over a decade ago, it may have been necessary for police state with singular centralized control to maneuver economically and prevent unrest. The people have proven that times have changed. Democracy can and will prevail so that freedom and civil liberty can abound.

    I would like to urge the media to continue probing and reporting on these events with as much fervor as they can muster. The world has a right to know what the people of Egypt are doing to secure their independence from a ruthless 82 year old dictator who is losing his hold.

    February 4, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. DrMeyer

    USA and Obama is loosing credibility everyday.. GET MUBARAK OUT AND WIN the remaining few people who still believes in you. Get the Dictator, Thief, Criminal out of Egypt

    February 4, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
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