A reporter from Al Jazeera said he was attacked
Wednesday during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square between pro and
anti-government factions when he was identified as a journalist. He said he
escaped when warning shots were fired. It was not clear from where, but
Al Jazeera was reporting they appeared to be coming from the
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak signaled in a speech
Tuesday that he was willing to institute reforms, but also that he planned to
fill out his term. That was not sufficient for those pushing for his immediate
ouster, who have called for his exit by Friday.
What had been relatively peaceful demonstrations in the past
day or so had devolved Wednesday into a "massive street battle"
with rock throwing and beatings, according to Al Jazeera.
Live streamed video showed people atop buildings throwing
rocks into the crowds into the square below. Al Jazeera reported that most
of the clashes were happening on the roads leading to the square as pro-Mubarak
forces were trying to confront anti-government protesters there.
The government is denying that the pro-Mubarak forces are
government representatives trying to infiltrate the protest, but calls them
citizens troubled by the chaos and anarchy.
"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," said White House Press Secretary Robert
Gibbs. "We repeat our strong call for restraint."