File photo: Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei speaks to protesters at Tahrir Square in Cairo.

Cairo - Egyptian dissident and Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei condemned on Saturday an alleged assault on female protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 2011 revolt against then-president Hosny Mubarak.

“To Egypt's women: I apologise to you in the name of every Egyptian aware of what religion, values and ethics mean,” ElBaradei wrote on Twitter.

Women demonstrating against sexual harassment were assaulted by unknown people in Tahrir Square on Friday, local media reported.

Incidents of assaults on female protesters in the square have recently increased, according to activists.

They say the attackers are seeking to discourage women from taking part in the frequent rallies there.

Security forces rarely appear in the square, for fear of clashing with the anti-government demonstrators.

Seventeen local rights groups called this week for the creation of what they called “safe corridors” for female protesters, to protect them from assault. - Sapa-dpa