Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak, including some riding horses and camels and wielding whips, march towards anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb.2, 2011. Several thousand supporters of President Hosni Mubarak, clashed with anti-government protesters Wednesday as Egypt's upheaval took a dangerous new turn. In chaotic scenes, the two sides pelted each other with stones, and protesters dragged pro-Mubarek supporters off their horses. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
CAIRO (AP) -- Protesters and government supporters fought in a second day of rock-throwing battles at a central Cairo square while more lawlessness spread around the city. New looting and arson erupted, and gangs of thugs supporting President Hosni Mubarak attacked reporters, foreigners and rights workers while the army rounded up foreign journalists.
As bruised and bandaged protesters danced in victory after forcing back Mubarak loyalists attacking Tahrir Square, the government increasingly spread an image that foreigners were fueling the turmoil and supporting the unprecedented wave of demonstrations demanding the ouster of Mubarak, the country's ruler for nearly three decades.
"When there are demonstrations of this size, there will be foreigners who come and take advantage and they have an agenda to raise the energy of the protesters," Vice President Omar Suleiman said in an interview on state TV.
In an interview with ABC News, Mubarak said he wants to leave office now, but cannot for fear the country will sink deeper into chaos. He blamed the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition group, for the violence.
"I was very unhappy about yesterday," Mubarak told ABC's Christiane Amanpour. "I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other."
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley condemned what he called "a concerted campaign to intimidate international journalists in Cairo."
Pro-government mobs beat foreign journalists with sticks outside downtown Tahrir Square, smashing equipment. Dozens of journalists, including ones from The Washington Post and The New York Times, were reported detained by security forces. One Greek print journalist was stabbed in the leg with a screwdriver, and a photographer was punched in the face. The Arabic news network Al-Arabiya pleaded for the army to protect its offices and journalists, and Al-Jazeera said two of its correspondents were attacked.