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SA-born journo ‘recuperating’

CBS Correspondent Lara Logan is pictured in Cairo's Tahrir Square moments before she was assaulted.

CBS Correspondent Lara Logan is pictured in Cairo's Tahrir Square moments before she was assaulted.

Published Feb 17, 2011

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London -

War reporter Lara Logan has been sexually assaulted by a frenzied mob in Cairo just hours after she returned to Egypt.

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The former GMTV correspondent was set upon by 200 people among the increasingly volatile crowd in Tahrir Square celebrating President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

Separated from her crew and security guards, the chief foreign correspondent for America’s CBS News was subjected to a terrifying ordeal lasting 20 to 30 minutes.

Although the 39-year-old former swimwear model is said not to have been raped, CBS News revealed in a statement: “It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

“She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating.”

It was reported in New York that Miss Logan’s attackers chanted “Jew, Jew” as they molested her, although she is not in fact Jewish.

South African-born Logan was eventually rescued by a group of women and 20 Egyptian soldiers.

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She was reunited with her crew and flew the next morning to the US where she received hospital treatment for her injuries. The married mother of a two-year-old son was discharged from hospital on Tuesday and was last night recuperating at her home near Washington.

She was described as being in “remarkably good spirits” despite her ordeal on February 11.

The attack came within hours of Logan flying back to Egypt after previously being forced to flee the country when she and her crew were roughed up by the army.

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In that incident - a week before the sex attack - she was arrested at gunpoint by soldiers.

She was then kicked out of the country for not having the proper paperwork to work there as a journalist.

In an interview before going back, she said: “Our driver was beaten. Arrested, detained and interrogated, they blindfolded me, they kept us in stress positions - they wouldn’t let me put my head down. It was all through the night.

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“We were pretty exhausted. We were accused of being Israeli spies. We were accused of being agents. We were accused of everything.”

Logan said she became “violently ill” and had to be put on an intravenous drip by her captors. The award-winning reporter returned to the US but claimed it was “in her blood” to go back to cover the tumultuous events unfolding in Egypt.

She is understood to have secured the appropriate accreditation in Washington before returning to Egypt because being out of the country had left her feeling “like a failure professionally … because I didn’t deliver”.

Since she was attacked by the mob, US television colleagues have been tweeting get-well messages, including one from CNN’s new presenter Piers Morgan. But another US journalist has been vilified in America for joking on Twitter about her ordeal.

Nir Rosen, who writes for Time magazine and the New York Times, suggested Logan had been trying to “outdo” CNN’s star reporter Anderson Cooper, who was pulled out of Egypt ten days ago after he was physically assaulted.

Rosen has since posted profuse apologies for his remark.

Victims of sexual attacks are not normally identified but CBS said it had decided to issue its statement after consulting Logan.

It had not reported the story for four days, but did so eventually after US news agencies were on the brink of breaking it.

Logan is among 140 journalists attacked while covering the supposedly peaceful uprising in Egypt.

The veteran war correspondent was once tipped to be a presenter on Britain’s GMTV before leaving to work for CBS in 2002.

During her two years with GMTV, she covered floods in Mozambique and land invasions in Zimbabwe as well as the war in Afghanistan.

She has regularly filed reports from Afghanistan and Iraq for CBS over the past decade.

Yet she has also battled to prove herself in the male-dominated world of war reporting.

When she was at GMTV, Logan found herself at the centre of a row over sexism on the front line after ITV correspondent Julian Manyon wrote in a Spectator article about “the considerable physical charms of my travelling companion, the delectable Lara Logan, who exploits her God-given advantages with a skill that Mata Hari might envy”.

Logan angrily hit back at the claim, saying good contacts and a devotion to her job were the reason she enjoyed such good access to Northern Alliance leaders in Afghanistan. - Daily Mail

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