CAIRO — Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei was under house arrest Friday, Egyptian security officials said, after Cairo became a scene of violent chaos with tens of thousands of anti-government protesters clashing with police.
The demonstrations were a major escalation in the ongoing rallies against President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
One of the country’s leading pro-democracy advocates, ElBaradei, took to the streets for the first time since his return to Egypt on Thursday.
Police used batons to beat some of ElBaradei’s supporters, who surrounded him to protect him. They were soaked with water cannons and eventually were forced to take refuge in a mosque, where they were trapped by riot police.
He later attempted to march again with supporters chanting “peaceful, peaceful.” However, The Associated Press later reported that ElBaradei was under house arrest.