The news feeds from CNN and Al Jazeera English provide both a sharp contrast and a possible glimpse at the Egyptian government’s current strategy to repress the pro-democracy movement.

While reportedly paid gangs of Mubarak supporters continue to provoke violence in several Egyptian cities, newly minted Vice President Suleiman is holding a live interview on Egyptian TV criticizing the influence of foreign provocateurs on the domestic demonstrations. Pro-government goons also continue to violently harassing journalists while government agents have stepped up confiscating the broadcast equipment of major media sources, such as Al Jazeera and the BBC. At the time of this writing, MSNBC’s feed from Tahrir Square is also off line.

A person claiming to be calling in from near Tahrir Square tells AJE that sniper fire from government mercenaries has killed three this afternoon.

Update: Suleiman says Tahrir “sit ins” are causing “paralysis” and “must end.”

Egyptian VP is also saying they must know who “pushed” pro-Mubarak gangs into Tahrir Square.

Suleiman keeps referencing foreigners inside the country that must be rooted out, seems to imply that all sides, demonstrators as well as opposition parties, are under some foreign influence.

Update 2: VP Suleiman says those that suggest that Mubarak leave are “not Egyptians” because “we all respect the father.” “You can’t have surgery without a head.”

Update 3: Suleiman has just finished his talk. here are two reactions from Egypt via twitter:

@Zeinobia

“Omar Soliman , we like u more silent !! What this terrible ugly provoking interview”
“Thank you Omar Soliman you gave some another push to go on with our protests”

@hananegypt Hanan Abdalla

“@evanchill Suleiman says probably most of the youth aren’t in Tahrir anymore. A quick look out the window puts the lie to that.”

Update 4: Suleiman alluded to negotiating with representatives from the protests, but he id not identify who that might be. According to AJE, referencing their Arabic service, the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6th Movement have both now issued statements saying that they have refused to talk to the sitting Egyptian government. Siun directed me to this post that hypothesizes on who might have met with Suleiman.

Gregg Levine

Gregg Levine

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