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Reporters targeted by Egypt’s pro-Mubarak mobs

abc gma amanpour egypt 110203d Reporters targeted by Egypts pro Mubarak mobs

Army reportedly starts rounding up journalists

In recent days, reporters have become targets in Egypt. Western journalists have been roughed up by pro-Mubarak demonstrators, and reporters from around the world have been arrested or detained by Egyptian security forces.

Al Jazeera reported Sunday that six of their journalists were arrested.

“Special military units have just raided the hotel where our journalists from Al Jazeera English were operating,” Al Jazeera reporter Clayton Swisher told ABC News.

Swisher said that while the reporters were later released, the government kept their news recording equipment.

On Wednesday, four Israeli journalists were arrested for allegedly violating curfew and entering Cairo on tourist visas.

But the situation may be the most dangerous for Western reporters.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper explained Wednesday that pro-Mubarak forces had attacked him and his crew.

“We had, I mean, literally a mob of people surround us just, you know, I got punched in the head probably a good ten times or so,” he said on CNN Wednesday morning.

“I know exactly who is attacking us, it’s the pro-Mubarak forces, no doubt about it,” he added.

ABC’s Christiane Amanpour faced similar treatment Wednesday. While trying to talk to Mubarak supporters, she was threatened and told to turn back. Upon retreating, she had the windshield of her car broken with a rock.

“There’s a real anti-Western reporter sentiment there,” ABC’s Robin Roberts noted Thursday. “Is there still that sense?”

“The pro-Mubarak supporters have been against the journalists,” Amanpour replied. “Partly this is because the state television, some of the local press, the state press, has been blaming journalists. And a statement from the Foreign Ministry was issued overnight saying, this uprising against Mubarak, is, quote, a foreign conspiracy, led by international journalists. So, those people who been aggressive towards us are not the anti-Mubarak demonstrators. They’re the pro-regime thugs and agitators that have been sent in to disrupt the protests.”

CNN’s Hala Gorani and CBS anchor Katie Couric also had to flee from pro-Mubarak demonstrators.

Serge Dumont, a Belgian journalist, was reportedly detained and beaten by men in plain clothes Wednesday.

As late as Thursday, there were reports that the Egyptian Army had begun to round up journalists, alleging it was for their own protection. Two correspondents from The New York Times were reportedly detained.

The Washington Post also reported having reporters arrested Thursday.

“We have heard from multiple witnesses that Leila Fadel, our Cairo bureau chief, and Linda Davidson, a photographer, were among two dozen journalists arrested this morning by the Egyptian Interior Ministry,” foreign editor Douglas Jehl wrote.

This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Feb. 3, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

This video is from The Associated Press, broadcast Feb. 3, 2011.

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