| Updated at: 0123 PST, Thursday, February 03, 2011|
MONTREAL: Egyptian soldiers on Wednesday saved a Radio-Canada cameraman covering protests at Cairo's Tahrir Square from being beaten to death by an angry mob, the Canadian public broadcaster reported.
Cameraman Sylvain Castonguay had gone to the epicenter of the nine straight days of protests that have rocked the Egyptian regime and sent shock waves around the Arab world with a small hidden camera to film the events.
"People in the crowd started to tell off our Egyptian interpreter," said reporter Jean-Francois Lepine, and then "someone in the crowd punched our cameraman in the face." The crowd became "hysterical, out of control," he said. "It was awful."
"Dozens of people began fighting right in front of us, we managed to get out of there with the help of other protestors, we ran, but at one point we got separated and I asked some soldiers for help."
"The soldiers intervened to get our cameraman out... Their intervention saved our lives because otherwise the crowd would probably have beaten us to death," he said, adding that the soldiers escorted them back to their hotel.
Lepine did not say whether the attackers were partisans of Egypt's embattled president, or pro-democracy demonstrators.
Earlier, media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders condemned as "shocking" attacks in Cairo against foreign media by partisans of Egypt's embattled president.
"These attacks seem to have been acts of revenge against the international media for relaying the protests calling for President (Hosni) Mubarak's resigning," Jean-Francois Julliard, secretary general for the Paris-based group, said in a statement.