Lalit K Jha
Washington, Feb 2 (PTI) The White House todaycondemned the violence against peaceful protesters in Egyptand called for restraint as chaos reigned in Cairo andhundreds were reported injured.
A day after President Hosni Mubarak appeared on statetv and announced that he would not contest presidentialelection one his tenure ends in September, violent clashesbroke out between pro- and anti-Mubarak groups.
"The United States deplores and condemns the violencethat is taking place in Egypt, and we are deeply concernedabout attacks on the media and peaceful demonstrators," WhiteHouse Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
"We repeat our strong call for restraint," Gibbs said.
The US reaction came as fresh reports said thathundreds of people were injured in the clashes, and mediapersons were also attacked by pro-Mubarak protesters.
President Barack Obama had early in the day called forMubarak to start an orderly transition to a morerepresentative government immediately.
European leaders also demanded that Mubarak should payheed to the aspirations of the agitating Egyptians.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and GermanyForeign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed concern over theviolence.
"If it turns out that the regime in any way has beensponsoring or tolerating this violence, that would becompletely and utterly unacceptable," Cameron said.