Anderson Cooper Describes Egypt Attack to David Letterman

5:55 PM PST 02/09/2011 by Sofia M. Fernandez
CBS

In his first interview since returning from Egypt, CNN's Anderson Cooper described to David Letterman how he and his crew were attacked by a mob on the streets of Cairo last week, "A guy went to grab our camera and it became a free-for-all. People came from all around, surrounding us, punching us, kicking us, trying to rip the clothes off my female producer."

Cooper continued, "My instinct, of course, is to punch back but I would start to slap back and then, you know, realize this is just going to make it worse."

The correspondent said the fracas and the day's unrest were part of an organized attack by supporters and those aligned with Egypt's embattled president Hosni Mubarak. The proof? "As soon as they wanted it to stop, it suddenly evaporated."

Cooper said he didn't think he was targeted because he was a journalist, but because he was a foreigner, "The vice president of Egypt has gone on state television saying the reporters are in league and foreigners are trying to attack Egypt and are behind these protesters so he's basically given a green light for mobs to attack anyone who looks foreign. I don't think they know who I was particularly."

He's also thankful he made it out of the incident in one piece, "There were people stabbed right after us, there were people who have been, you know, captured, disappeared."

Letterman's interview with Cooper airs Wednesday on the Late Show With David Letterman. Click here for a preview clip of the chat.

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