According to France 24 TV, one of the network’s correspondents was attacked in Cairo’s Tahrir Square when she was overcome by a crowd of protestors. The correspondent, Sonia Dridi, suffered the attack at 10:30 PM on Friday night during after finishing a live broadcast. She had to be rescued from her attackers by a colleague and witnesses.
The network released a statement about the attack but did not mention much. The statement did say that the network would file lawsuits against those who attacked Dridi but did not name them. The network and the French Embassy is working to get Dridi back to France safely.
‘More frightened than hurt,’ Dridi wrote in French on her Twitter page Saturday.
She tweeted, ‘Thanks to @ashrafkhalil for protecting me in #Tahrir last nite. Mob was pretty intense. thanks to him I escaped from the unleashed hands.’
Ashraf Khalil, an employee for France 24, said that the protestors kept getting closer to him and Dridi while the two were reporting live from a side street off the square. Khalil said that the attack and the rescue took 30 minutes.
‘The crowd surged in and then it went crazy. It was basically me keeping her in a bear hug, both arms around her and face-to-face,’ he said. Khalil said that close to 30 men were involved in the attack. ‘It was hard to tell who was helping and who was groping her.’
Khalil was able to get Dridi into a restaurant and hide her behind a metal door to keep her from the attackers. They then got into a car, which was banged on by men as it drove away from the protest. He said that they had some of their belongings stolen during the ideal as well.
‘It didn’t feel organized or targeted. It felt disorganized,’ he said. ‘I felt angry. I love Tahrir. I have a lot of nostalgia for Tahrir. I am still angry. I know this is not the first time this happened; it happened to other people I know. Still, it was a shock.’