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. Olive Branch

    Sounds like a "take the money and run" move to me.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. swandog

    Let them be free. We spend 1.5 billion dollars to keep the people of Egypt under a dictators thumb. Cut the aid, let the people be free. If the Arabs don't want to sell us oil they will starve. Quit using radical Muslims as the boogie man to oppress the masses. I am no fan of any religion but this is Not about religion. It is the Egyptians tea party

    February 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tas45

      I agree completely! Everyone should be free in the Middle East and across the globe. I think our policy with the oil should be as follows: We should drill here and get our own oil and tell them that we don't want their oil anymore and lets see how they would like that.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. will

    CNN, can you please define, "Thug"?

    February 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nada

      According to the Oxford Dictionary a Thug is "a violent person, especially a criminal".
      Origin: early 19th century from Hindi ṭhag 'swindler, thief', based on Sanskrit sthagati 'he covers or conceals'. Historically a thug was a member of an organization of robbers and assassins in India. Devotees of the goddess Kali, the Thugs waylaid and strangled their victims, usually travellers, in a ritually prescribed manner. They were suppressed by the British in the 1830s.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. egyptian

    I hope the world would realize that as long as islam has a hold of the arab minds. There is no hope for any progress in the middle east. This is a fact from someone who lived there long enough to know.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quatchi

      NO country in the world could help a pinhead like you.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • egyptian

      Thank god I live in the united states as a proud American. God bless america. I think islam has exposed itself already and still is.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pavarti Wasatch

      Oh whey oh...

      February 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. stephanie

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are struggling to make Egypt a better place to live in. I don't envy them their task ahead. May God walk with you in all the dark places you must go.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      While I agree with most of what you say, I disagree with 1 fundamental aspect. I do envy them...if only this could happen in America.

      February 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOB

    No way for Mubarak to stay. he lost his mind. He is killing everyone in Egypt. Freedom is now and not tomorrow. What he is saying is not true nad not acceptable for all Egyptians.
    Please leave us, we dont want you. It is simple.
    Dont destroy Egypt. You are expeired.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    Ok, let them do what they want. It's a crazy situation, but nothing we would do can stop it. They want to fight eachother it's between them at this point.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MubarakCouldHaveBeenLIPENGofChina

    Bring in Comrade Li-Peng right now!

    This so-called anti-gov't demonstration must be crushed. No more folling around!!!

    Anarchy and chaos must NOT be tolerated!!!

    February 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    Honestly, why does this thread have to be so full of hate? This battle has nothing to do with Israel or the US! It has to do with the Egyptian people being fed up with a 30 year old dictatorship. I'm ashamed that these comments on this thread are made by members of the same human race. Glad I'm an Atheist and don't have a dog in the fight... please try not to kill each other over something as old and stupid as Israel vs the Muslim world. Grow up.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • egyptian

      I completely agree with, but as long as we have islam in this world. there will always be hate.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pavarti Wasatch

      Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
      Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
      Walk like an Egyptian

      February 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dw

    The Egyption People
    Have spoken!

    Our President dropped the ball!!!!

    You don't ask a dictator on your payroll when he wants to leave you tell him!

    Again a defining moment for US Foreign Policy in the Middle East,
    And we dropped the ball!!

    February 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Spectator

    Obama does not know how to run his so-called country properly, let alone put his commenting nose on Egypt.
    Give me a break!

    February 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Nuha

    The main picture above seems to have many non-Egyptians!!!
    I smell a dirty smell .... God bless Egypt and REAL Egyptians.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pavarti Wasatch

      All the kids in the marketplace say
      Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
      Walk like an Egyptian

      February 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bryan Armstrong

    This is a popular revolt against a regime that has been in power for 30 years. The leader is 60 years older than the mean age of the country's citzens, and it has the highest number of unemployed college graduates in the world. This has little to do with Israel, Islam, terrorism or the U.S. This has to do with people wanting a hand in government and the future of their country. It would appear that the Egyptian president does not have very much faith in the people he has placed in the government – otherwise he would not think he is only one that stands between order and chaos. All we can do, as outside observers, is pray that they see their way through this tough period with little bloodshed. Difference in political opinion does not justify assault and murder – I don't care what your good book says.

    February 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ali Halim

    My family immigrated to America just before I was born. Now, I enjoy watching Arabs try to turn a civil revolt against their own government into a public outcry against the tyranny of America and Israel, all the while belittling Americans for their involvement with Egypt through our foreign policy channels. Never mind that the US has given Egypt 4 Billion and 996 Million dollars for economic aid in the last decade, plus an additional 12 Billion 967 Million dollars in military aid over the same period of time. I agree completely with comments from “true Egyptians” telling America to stay out of this. I have spent over three and a half years living in four Arab countries, and the one fact that has been true in all of them is that no amount of money can fix these cultures. The 20 Billion dollars given to Egypt was a dire waste. Any culture that states a thing will happen, followed by “Ensha Allah” never truly intends to follow through. Egypt is a waste, as well as all other Arab states with a zero return on investment. Time and friendship are not truly valued in the countries I have seen, only greed from the Arab citizens trying to wring money out of the Americans they find. Ignore the advantage of having international media likely preventing gross humanitarian rights violations from the Egyptian government against its own people. Instead, explain how 100 other countries media outlets are spreading lies, while the “real media” from Egypt and its neighbors is providing an unbiased perspective. The ignorance that is prevalent in Arab countries is unmatched throughout the world.

    February 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Egyptian born American

    Where are the 80 other million Egyptians? The people in the street are reportedly being paid 50 egyptian pounds and are being given free food to demonstrate in Tahrir sqaure.
    CNN – why are you so biased in your reporting???? Why have you not interviewed people outside of the square and asked them how they feel about the uprising?
    You will be surprised.

    February 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pavarti Wasatch

      Blonde waitresses take their trays
      They spin around and they cross the floor
      They've got the moves (oh whey oh)
      You drop your drink then they bring you more

      February 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
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