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. luis

    thats how all this crap will stop.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Chris

    Well don't let this distract you too much. Soon there will be a vote to extend or repeal the patriot act. Everyone PLEASE contact your representatives and tell them to vote against extending the "PATRIOT" Act!

    February 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Aldiggy2000

    If you are an American, get the hell out of Egypt! These media people have some serious balls but don't get all upset if you get wounded jailed or even killed. Our ex-presidents wont come to get your ass out

    February 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • poop

      Aldiggy is a liar. William Jefferson Clinton will never leave you! He is a superhero who wears a cape and provides the soothing sounds of the presidential sax as in-flight music.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mastersource

    Let them kill each other, less stupid Muslims in this world. I am surprised a stupid terrorist has not blown them selves up yet in the crowd.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mark Olsen

    Obama stop imposing democracy in Egypt.

    Democracy in Egypt is imposible; they don't have a democratic culture.

    US is the only country in the planet that is truly democratic, with 210 years of democratic culture.

    Even European countries only have 60 years of democracy, before that, they all had dictators ( Hitler, Petain, Franco, Mussollini).

    Obama is not only irresponsible, but naive and an amateur.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mastersource

      Democracy and Muslims don't mix they are monsters.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • poop

      I don't think Obama reads this. Michelle Obama probably does. You know, when she takes a break from telling your kids how to behave, telling you how to raise them, looking at quilts and being on oprah...call her fat. That'll get her attention. Hey, mastersource...my dad can beat up your dad. Well said brandy. Islam is learning, love, tolerance and honor. Was raised catholic. Put up with the saint and pope worship, false idols, beatings from a nun for asking why there are pictures in the bible and all that I got was trouble. I turn to islam and life gets better. I have a home vehicle and enough work to sustain my family. The difference between islam and christianity is hypocracy. Give thanks to Allah (god) not to a prophet's mother or a long dead priest or a king. Religion has very little to do with this problem in egypt.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Up In Flames

    Who's supplying the propaganda tools for these protesters? Nice, professionally made signs, printed in English no less!

    February 4, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. brandy

    umm first of all egypt has fallen victim to terrorist as well as we here in the us have just cause they are muslim means nothing a true muslim is not a terrorist a true muslim is closer to god then most people we save the same god as them

    February 4, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. brandy

    lol another typo share not same

    February 4, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mark Olsen

    The only way the Middle East functions, is with dictators. They don't believe in democracy, they don't know democracy, they don't want democracy.

    Democracy does not work without a culture of democracy.

    US has a democratiac culture. Obama in another country that is not the US, would have been thrown out of office, long time ago. But because we are a democratic nation, we are wating until he ends his mandate, even if he is the worst US president ever.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • baklu

      wow, wise. So we should let them?!

      February 4, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mark Olsen

    Hold on President Mubarak!!

    If you leave, Egypt will fall into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, the root of radical islam, adn Egypt will become Iran.

    Mubarak stop the leftist media, including CNN and MSNBC, and don't listen to Obama, and Clinton

    February 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • baklu

      MO,

      you have clearly fallen for the boogeyman story! So people demanding a resignation of a president is root to 'Radical Islam'?!

      You are very wise man..... very clver analogy. Guess what? We are tired of that story of the bad...... bring another theory so that people can be ruled by a dictator.

      February 4, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anthony Johnson

    Why don't they just go get this guy and get it over with??? Or just take over the television stations and announce that he has stepped down?

    February 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Anthony Johnson

    Oh, yeah Mark Olsen, so the solution is to continue to impose a dictatorship on millions of people while preaching democracy to the world. Oh, and we can continue to bash the whole region for their autocratic regimes while continuing to hand them loads of money that will keep them in power??? The western world helped create this backwards situation by imposing and then propping up dictators for decades. When the people then became desperate, the extremists started to sound like a good alternative. It's time to end this cycle.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Pat

    The only reason Mubarek wants to stay on til Sept or as long as he can – is to pillage the coffers of Egypt – at this point he knows his days are numbered and it's going to be about GREED and raping the treasury there of $$$$ and whatever else valuable he can get out of Egypt with him.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Roger E.

    Amazing how arrogant Prez Obla Bla is thinking he must stick his nose in running another country's gov't transition. Total anatomical feature. It's enough to publicly say the USA stands with all peace & freedon-loving people of any country. Our prez is a narcissistic moron who deigns to have his staff hold daily press conferences.. Absurd ! Obama – just do your job here ! We have enough problems domestically, and other nations need to determine their own course .. Offering neutral assistance is nice. Protecting ALL PEOPLE from needless violence is good. If a leader wants out, fine. If he needs a lift or a place to stay until he figures out where to retire, fine. Otherwise, butt out !

    February 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Stevelb1

    Does this still need 24/7 coverage?

    February 4, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
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