Violence Escalates as Gunfire Breaks Out in Cairo Square


A majority, it seemed, were concerned that if he left quickly, the economy and institutions could collapse, resulting in an explosion of crime and violence.

If Mubarak leaves precipitously, there could be real chaos. Mubarak's party had been sending a message on state TV regarding moves to restore law and order. The army, in a new statement on television, had urged the protesters to go home, "for the love of Egypt."

But when pro-Mubarak forces rushed the square, it turned the sentiments. We had gone over to interview Amr Moussa, the longtime President of the Arab League. He said the demonstrators had sent a clear message that the Arab world was ready for democracy.

As we left the Arab League headquarters, a band of angry pro-Mubarak demonstrators were already gathered around the Amr Moussa's headquarters. By the time we got to our office at the Associated Press TV, a mob was swarming the door.

Those opposed to change have clearly turned against the media. One of the women who works there later told us that as she approached the building with a camera in her hand, the crowd pulled her by her scarf, trying to pull her to the ground.

On Tuesday, two of our colleagues were arrested and roughed up by a plainclothes policeman who tried to seize their camera. After several young Egyptian men intervened and argued with them, they were let go. Our producer heard one of the young men mutter, "You see, we only have real freedom on the square."

Military Orders Everyone to 'Go Home'

Today, as we were trying to film on the bridge into Tahrir Square, an angry mob of pro-Mubarak protesters surrounded us and chased us into the car, shouting that they hated us and America. Some of the protesters kicked in the car doors and broke our windshield as we drove away.

As night fell, nobody was certain what would come next. There are fears that now the military and the people may now be headed for a showdown. The military amended its earlier request that "everyone go home."

Now they have issued an order: "Leave Tahrir Square."

Do you have questions about the mass protests in Egypt? Submit your questions to Christiane Amanpour HERE.

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