Cairo (JNN &Agencies): With the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refusing to quit on the deadline given by opposition, there was a fresh furor demanding the immediate ouster of the troubled leader amidst protesters calling for another mass rally.

Calling for the formation of a national unity government for all, the opposition said that the time had come for the President to step down.

The renewed calls came as the beleaguered Mubarak refused to resign under the plea that this step would throw the country in a sea of chaos.

The 82-year-old Egypt President said he was "fed-up with being President and would like to leave office now, but cannot, for fear that the country would slip into turmoil," ABC television's Christiane Amanpour reported after an interview in Cairo.

"I don't care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country," he added.
Death toll in Egypt has reportedly surged to 12 and 1, 000 have been injured since furious fighting between pro and anti-government supporters broke out two days back.

Fresh protests

As Mubarak’s rejection of deadline, protesters started pouring into Tahrir square with supplies of food and water.

Army braced for fresh clashes between groups and rolled out tanks and positioned soldiers to separate warring pro-and anti-Hosni Mubarak demonstrators.

Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said the government wants a dialogue and is ready to negotiate with the Opposition. Besides, he also expressed the willingness of the Government to amend the Constitution.

Earlier, the PM vowed to probe the bloody clashes between supporters and foes of embattled President Hosni Mubarak as he apologised for the event in the heart of the capital that left seven dead.

The clashes began when hundreds of pro-Mubarak protesters stormed the Al-Tahrir square on camels and horses from the north side of the park.

Shafiq, who became premier after Mubarak sacked the government in a bid to quell the protests, said earlier that the deadly unrest would be investigated.

Attacks on media

Three journalists from TF1, France's biggest private TV broadcaster, were detained in Cairo on Friday morning by armed men in civilian clothes and taken to an unknown destination, the channel said.

French international news channel France 24 on Thursday said that three of its journalists had been detained while covering protests in Egypt and were being held by "military intelligence services".

Indian entities like CNN-IBN, NDTV, Times Now etc also said their reporters have been attacked and harassed while reporting the unrest. Their cameras were seized by the authorities, their tapes destroyed and the reporters were harassed. The Egyptian PM vowed such incidents will not be repeated.

Hillary Clinton condemned the attacks, calling them violation of international norms. "The Egyptian Government must demonstrate its willingness to ensure journalists' ability to report on these events to the people of Egypt and to the world," she said.

Media watchdog IPI deplored what it described as "orchestrated" attacks on reporters in Egypt on the tenth day of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.

United Nations chief said attacks were 'outrageous and totally unacceptable" and must "stop now". "I once again strongly urge the Egyptian authorities to listen to the voice of the people, and immediately start real change," Ban appealed.

A camera crew was also beaten up near Tahrir Square while filming a story about the unrest's economic fallout.

A Swedish television journalist for SVT whose editors feared that he had been kidnapped was found in a Cairo hospital, severely beaten. A Greek journalist for the newspaper Kathimerini was stabbed in the leg, and a photographer with him struck on the head.

A day earlier, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and ABC's Christiane Amanpour said they were punched and kicked by pro-government henchmen who also smashed their crews' equipment.

Los Angeles Times photographer Carolyn Cole and two Associated Press reporters were detained while covering the melee, as were journalists from Al Arabiya network, four Israeli correspondents and a Belgian who was writing for French-language publications.ox News Channel reported that correspondent Greg Palkot and cameraman Olaf Wiig were "severely beaten" Wednesday, and BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was detained, blindfolded and interrogated after his car was forced off the road in Cairo.

The Egyptian Government is of the view that the media and human rights monitors have been fomenting the unrest that has paralyzed the economy, chased away tourists and threatened to further impoverish workers in the Middle East's most populous nation.    


India condemns attack on journalists

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has expressed shock over the detention and attacks on journalists. "I am pained and shocked to learn about the detention and attacks on journalists in Egypt, who were reporting on the unfolding developments," he said in a statement.


Amid reports that some foreign journalists covering the political turmoil in Cairo have been attacked, the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi issued an advisory for those intending to cover the protests, including obtaining the State Information Service accreditation.

"It is understood that around 3000 foreign and Egyptian correspondents are currently in Cairo to file/film stories and a number of them are without suitable accreditation. A number of journalists, including some Indian journalists, have got into trouble as a result," the Ministry said.