News / Middle East

Egyptian PM Apologizes for Violent Clashes

Egyptian state television Al-Masriya shows new Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq holding a press conference in Cairo, February 3, 2011
Egyptian state television Al-Masriya shows new Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq holding a press conference in Cairo, February 3, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • VOA's Luis Ramirez debriefer on the overnight clashes in Cairo

Egyptian soldiers have taken positions between pro- and anti-government protesters in Egypt's capital, where gunfire erupted early Thursday after violent clashes between the two sides.

Several tanks were stationed near Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square, as thousands of anti-government protesters gathered there and built barricades.

Listen to VOA’s Luis Ramirez’s debriefer on the overnight clashes in Cairo:

One of the tanks stood on a highway overpass, where earlier Thursday, supporters of President Hosni Mubarak had been throwing rocks at anti-government protesters below.

News reports cited witnesses as saying at least four people were killed in the latest violence that broke out before dawn.

Also Thursday, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq apologized for violent clashes that broke out Wednesday when supporters of Mr. Mubarak surged into Tahrir Square and faced off against opposition demonstrators. He called the incident a "disaster" and said it would not happen again.

In his news conference carried on state television, Mr. Shafiq also said he has begun talks with opposition members.

VOA’s Mohamed Elshinnawi spoke to Egyptian opposition leader Osama El Ghazali Harb about the state of the anti-Mubarak camp; the interview was recorded February 2, 2011.

The anti-Mubarak opposition has called for more demonstrations Friday to press their demand for the president's departure.

After Wednesday's violence, doctors set up a makeshift clinic in a mosque near Tahrir Square to help the more than 640 injured. Egypt's health ministry said the official death toll in the last 24 hours stands at five.

Reporters said Egyptian troops initially fired warning shots in a bid to end the melee. But the military mostly restricted itself to guarding the Egyptian Museum and using water cannons to extinguish flames stoked by the firebombs.

Anti-government protesters accuse Mr. Mubarak's government of unleashing paid vandals and undercover police to crush their unprecedented uprising. The Interior Ministry denied the charge.

Mr. Mubarak, 82, announced late Tuesday he will not seek reelection in September, but he vowed to serve out his term until then. He spoke after an estimated 250,000 people flooded Tahrir Square to demand his resignation. Anti-Mubarak protesters also rallied in other major Egyptian cities.

Egypt's newly appointed Vice President, Omar Suleiman, Wednesday urged all demonstrators to respect the curfew and go home, saying his dialogue with political forces depends on an end to street protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs