'Israeli guards at Cairo embassy fired shots into the air'

Details about Cairo Israeli embassy attack reveals that 6 security guards who were holed up behind metal door were surrounded by rioters.

September 11, 2011 13:39
2 minute read.
violent protests outside Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Cairo embassy violence 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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New information released Sunday about the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo revealed that the six Israeli security guards who were holed up behind a metal door began to fire shots into the air when they thought that the protesters were approaching the room.

After hours of demonstrating, the mass crowds managed to break down two of the three doors that lead to the room where the Israeli security guards were located. The security guards heard knocks on the door and shouting from outside.

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Timeline of Israel embassy attack in Cairo

The guards, who were eventually extracted by Egyptian commandos, returned to Israel on Saturday.

The saga began on Friday at 6:30 p.m., when a mob that reportedly numbered some 5,000 people congregated outside the building that houses the embassy, which was closed at the time, but which was being guarded inside by the six security guards.

The crowd started demolishing the wall that was erected recently around the building, and by 12:30 a.m. made it into the embassy where they broke into the consular section and the embassy’s archive, setting fires and breaking windows. With the Arab television networks filming, the Israeli flag was once again pulled down and set aflame, to cheers from the throng below.

The embassy is housed on the 16th-19th floors of the building.

Vandals used both the stairway and the elevators to enter the offices, while others jumped onto the balcony of the embassy from nearby buildings. Anti-Israel graffiti was sprayed throughout the offices.


The Foreign Ministry’s emergency procedures were activated, and Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yoram Cohen went there to follow the situation, in telephone consultation with the director of the Mossad and Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. They were watching the developments both via the Arab networks’ live feed, and a security camera inside the embassy.

Almost immediately the decision was made to dispatch a plane to Cairo and evacuate all members of the diplomatic staff and their families, except for the No. 2 at the embassy who would stay on.

Egyptian newspaper al Masry al Youm cited state-media reports that 92 additional activists were arrested in Cairo Sunday, bringing the total number to 130.

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