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Journalists attacked by mobs in Egypt

Sunday 11 Sep 2011
An angry crowd lingering near the Israeli embassy in Cairo after an attack on the building a day earlier, turned on journalists reporting the incident today, CNN reported.

As a CNN crew filmed the embassy from across the street, another crew from American public television – led by Egyptian television producer Dina Amer – approached the building.

The crew was preparing to film when a woman in the crowd began accusing her of being a “spy, working with Americans”, Ms Amer said.

A growing crowd surrounded Ms Amer and her colleagues, as they tried to leave. Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a CNN producer, rushed to help Ms Amer. But suddenly the two were pinned against an overpass railing by young men who were accusing Ms Amer of being an Israeli spy.

Mr Fahmy managed to pull Ms Amer another 10 metres until they were knocked to the ground and the crowd started to trample them. Mr Fahmy shielded Ms Amer and then managed to carry her to the public television crew’s car.

With the mob pounding on the windows, Margaret Warner, a PBS correspondent, managed to get the vehicle moving. Men threw stones at the departing vehicle.

Other Egyptian journalists told CNN they were also attacked near the Israeli embassy.

Ahmed Aleiba, an Egyptian state television correspondent, said he was pursued by civilians and soldiers. Farah Saafan, a video journalist, said a soldier threatened to destroy her car if she didn’t leave.