OTTAWA — Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon on Thursday called on Egypt's military to guarantee the safety of foreign reporters covering clashes between partisans and opponents of Egypt's embattled president.
"We strongly urge all Canadians to leave Egypt," he added.
The minister said Ottawa was aware of the detention of two Canadian journalists working in Cairo for the Globe and Mail newspaper, as well as others from CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV and TVA who were "targeted and intimidated."
The Canadian government is "particularly disappointed and concerned that the protests that began with hope, order and enthusiasm are now fraught with violence, havoc and fear," he said.
"We are particularly concerned at reports of arrests of journalists. All detained journalists should be immediately released and their media equipment returned."
Cannon said he expressed his "grave concerns" regarding the targeting of foreign journalists to his Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and to his envoy in Ottawa, urging Egypt's government to "ensure that the army guarantees their safety."
On Wednesday, 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.
An estimated 449 Canadians have been safely evacuated from Egypt. More than 6,000 still remain in the country.
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