One by one, the lines of communication that connected Egypt to the 21st century shut down. Twitter, Facebook, and eventually all Internet access were cut off; text messaging became impossible, and then millions of mobile phones went silent across the country. But the protests and riots continued, as they had for most of the week, with thousands of young Egyptians trying to take down the regime of octogenarian President Hosni Mubarak. They set last Friday for their “day of rage,” drawing in supporters from all over the country, including the outlawed but powerfully organized Muslim Brotherhood. In the hours leading up to the demonstrations, the government did everything it could to cut them off from each other—and from the rest of the world.
At the appointed hour, just after noon prayers, tens of thousands of marchers flooded into the streets all over Egypt, only to be met with truncheons, rubber bullets, and tear gas floating thicker in the air than morning mist on the Nile. But the protesters kept coming. In Cairo, security forces turned a water cannon on Mohamed ElBaradei, the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner who has tried to inspire a peaceful transition to a more democratic regime. Besieged by police, he and a group of supporters holed up in a mosque for more than an hour before the government reportedly put him under house arrest.
Read the complete story(Some news sites require registration)