CNN's Anderson Cooper and his camera crew were attacked and repeatedly punched by pro-government forces near Tahrir Square in Cairo today. [Updated with video]
"My team were set upon by the crowd," Cooper said on CNN this morning via telephone from the safety of a hotel balcony. "There was no rhyme or reason to it—it was just people looking for a fight, looking to make a point, and punching us." According to a Twitter post from George Hale, the English editor of the Ma'an news agency, who cited a CNN "manager," Cooper was punched "10 times in the head."
But he seems OK! Cooper told CNN that the crowd tried to take his crew's camera; we'll see if there's video. Cooper was caught up in what appears to be rapidly escalating violence today as pro-Mubarak forces have taken to the streets to quell protests.
CNN has aired the video of the encounter, above, which consists of a lot of jostling and audio of Cooper saying, "Hey! Hey!" Below is video of Cooper recounting the attack—"suddenly a young man would come up, look at you, and punch you in the face." The thugs were trying to break or steal his crew's camera, but Cooper had been using a handheld Flip camera to film, which they didn't notice.