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EGYPT: White House denounces violent turn of Cairo protests

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The White House swiftly condemned the violent turn of events in Egypt on Wednesday after supporters of President Hosni Mubarak charged into anti-government protests in a central Cairo square atop horses and camels and beat demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s resignation.

‘The United States deplores and condemns the violence that is taking place in Egypt, and we are deeply concerned about attacks on the media and peaceful demonstrators,’ White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said after images of the violence dominated television news coverage Wednesday. ‘We repeat our strong call for restraint.’

Several journalists covering the escalating challenge of Mubarak’s authority have been detained or threatened by government supporters who showed up in force after Mubarak vowed Tuesday night to serve out his presidential term. The Egyptian leader, who’s been in power for nearly 30 years, did promise not to seek reelection in the autumn, but that assurance appeared to anger rather than appease his opponents.

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-- Carol J. Williams


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