CBS’s Logan suffered ‘brutal’ attack in Egypt

Michael Calderone

CBS News correspondent Lara Logan "suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" on Feb. 11 in Egypt, according to a network statement.

The incident took place as Logan was covering celebrations in Tahrir Square for "60 Minutes" shortly after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Logan and her security team "were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration," according to the CBS statement. There were over 200 people in the mob.

"In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew," the statement continued. "She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers."

Logan reconnected with her team and returned to the United States the next morning. She's currently recovering in a hospital.

During the Egyptian uprising, numerous journalists were attacked by pro-Mubarak mobs and arrested. Unlike the attack on Logan, which took place after Mubarak left office, most took place during a two-day period when Mubarak supporters hit the streets. The attack on Logan shows the danger to foreign correspondents reporting from hot spots around the world.

Journalists continue to face threats in the Middle East and North Africa, as protests inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia take place throughout the region. On Monday, government loyalists in Yemen attacked a BBC reporter and his cameraman.

Nearly two weeks ago, Logan described the difficulties facing foreign journalists in Egypt--a country not unlike other authoritarian regimes in its treatment of the press--just before she was also detained by police. Watch below:

Logan spoke to Esquire about her earlier police interrogation on Feb. 10, the night before the attack transpired.

"We were all blindfolded," Logan told the magazine. "They blindfolded me, but they said if I didn't take it off they wouldn't tie my hands. They kept us in stress positions—they wouldn't let me put my head down. It was all through the night. We were pretty exhausted."

She said Egyptian police also accused her crew of being "Israeli spies" or agents. "We were accused of everything," she said.

But Logan, who had returned to the United States after the police detention, wasn't going to sit out the rest of a major revolution. She decided to return to Egypt on Feb. 10, telling Esquire "there's no doubt in my mind that the situation we were caught in before, we are now arriving into again."

The New York Times noted Tuesday that "some female journalists complained about being singled out by crowds" while covering the protests in Egypt. However, it's unclear at this time if there were other incidents of sexual assault involving journalists.

The crowd in Tahrir Square during the early days of the protest was overwhelmingly male. But as the protests grew, the crowd resembled a cross-section of Egyptian society, with women and children present at demonstrations. That continued through the celebrations following Mubarak's resignation, which until this incident, have been largely viewed in a positive light.

CBS said Tuesday that there will be no further comment and that "Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time."

(Photo of Logan moments before the attack, courtesy of CBS News)