Cairo Hotels Under Curfew as Protests Escalate
Frightening riots and protests are taking place in Cairo today as Egyptians continue to demand for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
The city's downtown Tahrir Square saw a particularly scary stand-off between protesters and government security forces today who used tear gas, water cannons and sound grenades.
The Sheraton Cairo on Giza Avenue was at one point caught in the middle of the fray as government troops blocked entry to the El Gala Bridge over a section of the Nile River. The Globe and Mail reports:
Wave after wave of people charged at the troops, throwing no rocks and using no violence, only shouting at the forces. They then were beaten back by a particularly strong tear gas.
The crowd was remarkably determined to advance despite the painful experience. By about the eighth charge, the police parted and let the crowd cross on the bridge.
The violence going on today has forced Mubarak, acting as the country's military leader, to impose a curfew from 6pm to 7am. Making it worse, the government has shut down the internet and text messaging.
For now, hotel guests in Cairo should be safe inside their hotels. One group of students visiting Cairo from Iowa has even kept up some of their sightseeing activities, away from the protests.
We also haven't seen any updates from Cairo hotels turning guests away or issuing any other emergency announcements. But then again, maybe that's because they can't access the internet. Here's hoping everything remains somewhat safe through the weekend.
[Photo: Globe and Mail]