More details of the brutal attempts by a bloodthirsty Egyptian mob to lynch members of the Israeli embassy and their families emerge.
As CNN reports:
An angry crowd lingering near the Israeli embassy in Cairo after an attack on the building a day earlier turned on journalists reporting the incident Saturday, accusing at least one of being an Israeli spy.
As a CNN crew filmed the embassy from across the street, another crew from American public television — led by Egyptian television producer Dina Amer — approached the building.
The crew’s Russian cameraman was preparing to film the embassy when a woman in the crowd began hurling insults at the TV team, Amer said.
“There was this older lady who decided to follow me and rally people against me,” Amer recalled.
“She said ‘you’re a spy working with the Americans.’ Then they swarmed me and I was a target.”
A growing crowd surrounded Amer and her colleagues, as they tried to leave the scene.
Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a producer working for CNN, rushed to help escort Amer through the angry crowd. But suddenly the two reporters were pinned against the railing of an overpass by young men who were accusing Amer of being an Israeli spy.
Yelling “I’m Egyptian,” Fahmy managed to pull Amer another 10 meters down the road, until the pressure from the mob overwhelmed the pair.
Amer screamed as she and Fahmy were knocked to the ground and the crowd started to trample them.
Other CNN journalists tried to reach in to help, but were pushed back by a wall of angry men.
Fahmy lay on top of Amer, shielding her with his body.
“I was thinking, how powerless I was because there was no police to save us,” Fahmy said. “I was worried that they were going to rape her.”
At that moment, a student bystander named Mohammed el Banna called out to the journalists and pointed out a nearby car.
Somehow, Fahmy managed to carry Amer to the open door of the public television crew’s car, where two of her female colleagues were waiting just a few feet away.
The mob pounded on the windows and tried to reach into the vehicle as the panicked reporters fumbled and struggled to get behind the steering wheel.
When Margaret Warner, a correspondent with the PBS program “Newshour” managed to get the vehicle moving away from the crowd, men threw stones at the departing vehicle.
Amer had few words to describe the terrifying ordeal.
“They were animals,” she said.
Other Egyptian journalists told CNN they were also attacked Saturday while trying to report near the Israeli embassy. [emphasis added]