Chaos On The Streets In Cairo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WATCH IT LIVE: Chaos On The Streets In Cairo

CAIRO - Several thousand supporters of embattled President Hosni Mubarak, some galloping in on horses and camels and wielding whips, charged into a crowd of anti-government protesters Wednesday, instigating violent clashes as Egypt's upheaval took a dangerous new turn.

The two sides rained stones, bottles, firebombs and even satellite dishes (ripped off nearby buildings) on each other.

Egypt's health minister said more than 400 people were wounded and at least one killed in the violence, state television reported. Several foreign journalists were among the injured, according to media reports.

poradic clashes continued into the night as crowds at Tahrir Square thinned out.

The military, which has stayed mostly on the sidelines during the clashes, went on state television Wednesday night to urge people to evacuate the area, warning that "armed people" intended to burn down the square, Al Jazeera English reported.

The turmoil was the first significant violence between supporters of the two camps in more than a week of mostly peaceful anti-government protests. The clashes erupted after Mubarak went on national television Tuesday night and said he would not seek another term but rejected protesters' demands he step down immediately.

At the fighting's main front line, next to the famed Egyptian Museum at the edge of Tahrir Square, pro-government rioters blanketed the rooftops of nearby buildings, dumping bricks and firebombs onto the crowd below — in the process setting a tree ablaze inside the museum grounds. Below on the street, the two sides hurled chunks of concrete and bottles at each other, and some government supporters waved machetes.

Bloodied anti-government protesters were taken to makeshift clinics in mosques and alleyways. Some pleaded for protection from soldiers stationed at the square, but the soldiers did nothing to stop the violence, beyond firing an occasional shot in the air.

"Hosni has opened the door for these thugs to attack us," one man with a loudspeaker shouted to the crowds during the fighting.

Several protesters claimed that the Mubarak supporters included plainclothes police and other hired "thugs."

"These are not people who are out to the express their opinion," Wael Khalil, a pro-democracy protester, told Al Jazeera English.

"We caught a lot of people with police IDs on them," another witness told Al Jazeera.

Opposition figure and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei said on Al Jazeera TV that he asked the army to intervene "to protect Egyptian lives." The network cited him saying he had proof those attacking anti-government protesters were police.

Egypt's Interior Ministry earlier denied accusations by anti-government protesters that plainclothes police were involved.

"So many bloodied faces pouring out of this battle," Al Jazeera correspondent Dan Nolan said in a post to Twitter, adding that he had just seen a very young boy "unconscious being carried on man's back."

"We saw rocks flying in all directions … it was total mayhem," an Al-Jazeera correspondent in the area of Tahrir Square told the TV station. She said there was a "complete stampede" and that she saw people being trampled.

Another Al-Jazeera correspondent in the square said the "crazed cavalry charge" had entered the square alongside pro-Mubarak protesters and ran "straight at a wall of people." A cameraman was trampled, he said. Live video showed protesters on top of the buildings bordering Tahrir Square throwing debris.

Story: Egypt's neighbors share catalysts for unrest

CNN's Anderson Cooper said he and his production crew were attacked by pro-Mubarak demonstrators earlier. Cooper said he and the crew tried to escape, but that the crowd only grew.

"The crowd kept growing, kept throwing punches, kicks ... suddenly a young man would look at you and punch you in the face," Cooper said, adding that no one was seriously hurt.

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