Cross-posted at Pundit Press.
ABC reporter Brian Hartman was carjacked in Egypt today and threatened with beheading. In a country that is dissolving into chaos, journalists are not exempt.
ABC continues its report on the threat:
A group of angry Egyptian men carjacked an ABC News crew and threatened to behead them today in the latest and most menacing attack on foreign reporters trying to cover the anti-government uprising.
Producer Brian Hartman, cameraman Akram Abi-hanna and two other ABC News employees were surrounded on a crowded road that leads from Cairo’s airport to the city’s downtown area.
While ABC News and other press agencies had been taking precautions to avoid volatile situations, the road to the airport had been a secure route until today. One of their two vehicles was carrying cameras and transmission equipment strapped to the roof, indicating they were foreign journalists.
Hartman says it was only through the appeal of Abi-hanna, who is Lebanese and a veteran ABC cameraman, that they were saved from being killed or severely beaten.
“We thought we were goners,” Hartman said later. “We absolutely thought we were doomed.”
Just yesterday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and his crew were surrounded and beaten in the streets of Egypt. Cooper was videotaping at the time and was “punched in the head.” He was able to escape by getting into a news-van.
Earlier today, the United States warned citizens that they should leave Egypt no sooner than today, with violence on the rise. Speculation believes that Americans and other foreigners may not even be able to leave Egypt in the near future, as martial law may be declared or airports and airplanes could be targets of rioters.