CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” while covering Egypt president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation on Friday in Tahrir Square, and is in a U.S. hospital recovering, CBS said.
The network released this statement on Tuesday regarding the attack:
On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a 60 MINUTES story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.
In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.
There will be no further comment from CBS News and Correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.
Logan, like other journalists, had been detained and held while covering the uprising in Egypt earlier this month.
On February 3, Logan was reportedly marched back to her hotel at gunpoint when she and a crew were taking pictures of protests. They were eventually detained by Egyptian police outside Cairo’s Israeli embassy. (She was released and flew back to the U.S.; she returned to Cairo a week later.)
The same day, a pair of Fox News correspondents — Greg Palkot and his cameraman, Olaf Wiig — were severely beaten and hospitalized in Egypt as attacks on journalists during the uprising escalated.
The day before that, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and dozens of other journalists were attacked or intimidated by pro-government supporters in Egypt — part of an apparent tactic by the Mubarak regime to crack down on independent coverage of the revolution.
“Sickened and saddened by the attack on Lara Logan,” Cooper, who is a contributor to “60 Minutes,” wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “She is in all of our thoughts and prayers.”
[Photo of Logan moments before the attack, via CBS News]