Three American Students Arrested in Cairo

Nov 22, 2011 3:57pm
ap america students arrested cairo ll 111122 wblog Three American Students Arrested in Cairo

Egyptian TV/AP Photo

Three American students were arrested in Cairo today after allegedly participating in the violent protests that have rocked the city since Saturday.

According to an Egyptian Interior Ministry official, the three men were apprehended on the roof of an American University in Cairo building, where they’d been throwing firebombs at security forces clashing with protesters in Tahrir Square.

The students, Luke Gates, from Indiana University, Gregory Porter from Drexel University and Derrik Sweeney, from Georgetwon University, were shown on Egyptian state television with their student IDs.

On Saturday Gates tweeted that he hoped to die in Egypt, and on Sunday he described one of his trips to Tahrir Square.

“[E]arlier tonight rubber bullets, a charge and then a retreat, my knee and elbow are f**ked up,”  he wrote.

ABC News Affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., learned that Sweeney had been an intern in the office of Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., last spring, and that according to Luetkemeyer’s press secretary, the congressman had contacted the State Department to try to assist Sweeney.

The U.S. Embassy has been in touch with Egyptian authorities regarding the students, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

She said that the U.S. had requested, and expected to soon get “consular access” to the three students  and that the State Department had no reason to believe the students were not safe at the moment.

The Associated Press, WJLA-TV  and ABC News’ Kirit Radia contributed to this report. 

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