Swedish journalists attacked by Cairo mob
Published: 02 Feb 2011 20:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Feb 2011 09:36 GMT+01:00
Two Swedish reporters were attacked by an angry mob Wednesday while reporting in an impoverished area of Cairo before a soldier arrested them and held them for several hours, their daily said.
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A reporter and a photographer of the Aftonbladet tabloid - who were accompanied by an interpreter and a driver -- were reporting on how the poorest Egyptians found food during the unrest that has rocked the Arab nation.
When the journalists got out of their car to ask a woman rummaging through garbage if they could film her, a mob suddenly formed around the pair.
"The crowd took the car keys and, the driver's SIM card, placed rocks in front of the car wheels and spat in our faces" saying the team was from Israel's Mossad spy agency, reporter Karin Östman said.
A soldier came to help the journalists, but then refused to release them and threatened them, she added.
"He said that if he killed us right then no one would find us, and ordered us to stay in the car," she said, explaining that the soldier and other troops let them go after a few hours.
The incident comes on a day which saw supporters of embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak take to the streets in an attempt to show the Egyptian leader was not without allies following a week of protests calling for his ouster.
On Tuesday, Mubarak announced he would not run for reelection in Egypt's September vote, news which did little to quell the growing tide of sentiment against him.
Hundreds of protesters were injured in clashes on Wednesday between pro-Mubarak demonstrators and anti-government protestors who want the president to step down immediately.
As the political crisis continues, Swedish tour operators have also been busy flying Swedes home who have been on vacation in Egypt.
Nevertheless, the Swedish foreign ministry estimates that several thousand Swedes will still be in Egypt by the end of the week.