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Anderson Cooper, journalists flogged in Cairo protests

by Jorge Hernandez on February 3, 2011

CNN reporter Anderson Cooper and his crew suffered the brunt of some of the ongoing violence in Cairo on Wednesday after a crowd of Mubarak supporters attacked the journalists while they filmed the protests.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, Cooper and his crew were able to enter the pro-government crowd momentarily, but a screaming demonstrator flung himself at the journalists and attempted to grab their camera. The rest of the crowd soon followed suit, punching, kicking and throwing bottles at the crew.

The reporters eventually managed to escape, but not before being attacked by more pro-government supporters after their initial attempt to walk away.

The New York Daily News reports that the pro-Mubarak demonstrators had targeted other journalists as well, including FOX Business Network correspondent Ashley Webster, two Associated Press journalists and foreign correspondents from Denmark, Spain and Romania.

The attack was caught on tape, in which Cooper audibly says "I've been hit now, like,10 times," and "the Egyptian soldiers are doing nothing," the news source reports.

Cooper reported after the fact that the camera operator received a bloody eye and that protesters had attempted to rip the clothes off of a female crew member.

"Thanks for tweets of concern. I'm sore and head hurts but fine. Neil and mary anne are bruised but ok too. Thanks," Cooper tweeted after the incident.

The violence in Cairo is a recent development in the days-long protest centered in the city's Tahrir Square. Anti-Mubarak ralliers experienced a relative calm after police fled the scene, but many suspect that they are back in the form of undercover pro-government supporters.

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