25 arrested after InterContinental Hotel attacked for 6th time
Security forces arrest 25 suspects after luxury hotel near Cairo's Tahrir Square targeted six times since Tuesday morning
Ahram Online, Wednesday 30 Jan 2013
Pro and anti- government protesters clash in front of the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel, background left, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian security forces have arrested 25 suspects after the InterContinental Semiramis Hotel on Cairo's Nile Corniche was attacked for the sixth time on Tuesday evening.
The suspects stormed the five-star hotel, set the back door on fire and ransacked the lobby.
Police confiscated a safe filled with jewellery from the suspects. It is believed to have been stolen from one of the shops in the hotel.
"We have evacuated all guests since Tuesday morning and have stopped taking new reservations," Nabila Samak, the hotel's marketing and communication director, said. "The hotel is being viciously targeted."
Security forces have built a concrete wall around the InterContinental and nearby Shepheard's Hotel.
The hotel was attacked for the first time at 2am on Tuesday morning as clashes between protesters and security forces raged nearby.
Dozens of armed looters ransacked the hotel as staff used Twitter to call for help.
A number of protesters responded to the pleas, securing the besieged hotel and helping guests to flee.
The police and army failed to respond to the hotel staff's calls for help.
"Security forces are now securing the hotel but we need much more support than this," Samak said. "We are pleading for help."
The Intercontinental Hotel is one of the most famous luxury hotels in Cairo and lies only a few minutes away from Tahrir Square where protesters have been demonstrating since Friday's second anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.