POSTED: 11:27 a.m. HST, Feb 04, 2011
CAIRO >> State-run newspaper Al-Ahram says an Egyptian reporter shot during clashes earlier this week has died of his wounds, the first reported journalist death in 11 days of turmoil surrounding Egypt's wave of anti-government protests.
Al-Ahram says Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, 36, was taking pictures of clashes on the streets from the balcony of his home, not far from central Tahrir Square when he was "shot by a sniper" four days ago. It says in a report on its website that he died today in the hospital.
The paper says Mahmoud worked as a reporter for Al-Taawun, one of a number of newspapers put out by the Al-Ahram publishing house.
Tens of thousands of protesters have been massing in Tahrir Square since Jan. 25 demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Journalists, both Egyptian and foreign, have increasingly come under attack over the last days as the protests intensified.
The White House said today it is working with the U.S. embassy in Cairo on getting American journalists who've been beaten or detained out of Egypt.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the U.S. government continues to receive disturbing reports about what he called a "very systematic targeting of journalists," particularly international journalists, as anti-government protests swell in Cairo.
Gibbs stopped short today of blaming the government of President Hosni Mubarak for the attacks on reporters. But he said the actions were deplorable and "they speak volumes about the seriousness with which the government looks at an orderly transition."
The White House is working behind the scenes to push Mubarak from power ahead of September elections, in which he's pledged not to run again after a 30-year autocratic reign.