Update from Egypt
As you all know, the Egyptian government has tried to cut all communications – first the internet and text messaging went down late Thursday night, then all mobile phones down Friday morning. Throughout the day, POMED will be in touch with our contacts on the ground in Egypt by telephone to landlines, while also tracking other reports online.
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This morning the streets of Cairo were eerily quiet, with all mobile phone networks going out by mid-morning; by noon, security forces and thugs surrounding every mosque as crowds arrive for noon prayer. Protests now underway – largest gathering at Al-Azhar mosque, Al-Jazeera reports 20,000 there, heading toward downtown. ElBaredei is reportedly present with crowd in Giza. Al Jazeera reports that crowds exiting mosques in Alexandria were immediately met with tear gas. There are also reports of rubber bullets being used immediately in Giza. Large crowds are also reported in Heliopolis and Nasr City. Stay tuned for further reports.
UPDATE: Al-Jazeera and others are reporting that Mohamed ElBaradei has been arrested by Egyptian police.