A day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he would not seek reelection but declined to step down on the spot (Wire covers reaction here), protests in central Cairo are heating up. Reuters reports violence erupting between Mubarak opponents and Mubarak supporters: "People fought each other with sticks and stones while troops surrounding the square made no attempt to intervene, witnesses said."

This is what Twitter is for. We've sifted through to find the latest from reporters and Cairo residents on the ground as well as from key commentators and Middle East specialists watching from afar. Here's how an incredibly tense few hours unfolded Wednesday, complete with photos, Al Jazeera English footage, and more.


From Joshua Hersh, reporter for The Daily:

Total pandemonium at makeshift clinic in Tahrir Square. Dozens of head wounds #egyptless than a minute ago via web


The BBC's Martha Kearney brings us the view from opposition leader El-Baradei:

Just interviewed Muhammed El Baradei #wato about clashes in Tahrir Square. he tells me he fears for "bloodshed" #radio4 #jan25less than a minute ago via web


The Atlantic's own Graeme Wood recently touched down in Cairo and is now walking through the streets tweeting photos as he goes:

Just got serious. Riot. Stonesless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


Many injuries. Someone just chucked a car's bumper like forty feetless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


Mubarak crowd now dominant well past museum. Headed into tahrir.  http://yfrog.com/h3w11cvjless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof doesn't think the new developments are accidental:

Very messy in Tahrir right now. Clashes. Could be a bad day. Looks like Mubarak says: you challenge me, you pay a price.less than a minute ago via web


National Review's Jim Geraghty makes a good point:

The Mubarak mob's assault on CNN's Anderson Cooper will make Egypt a big story to millions of Americans who tuned out so far...less than a minute ago via TweetDeck


Andrew Exum from the Center for a New American Security is checking coverage between the Arabic and English versions of Al Jazeera for those who can't do it themselves:

After watching al-Jazeera Arabic for 15 minutes, I can confirm that those of you watching AJE are not missing anything. Roughly equal.less than a minute ago via HootSuite


So much for those great photos Graeme Wood was tweeting--as a Guardian reporter very dramatically showed a few days ago, there's some pretty serious occupational hazard here:

Beaten (lightly), had camera stolen by secret police at Egyptian Museum. #idliketofileacomplaintless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone


The Atlantic's Max Fisher, watching Al Jazeera, notices something worrisome: 

Gunshots audible in background in Al Jazeera English broadcastless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Can anyone confirm is those shots are live fire?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck


NONTWEET: Meanwhile, German paper Die Zeit's liveblog on the developments in Egypt reports that "the E.U. has called on Mubarak to produce political change as quickly as possible." The E.U. spokeswoman Catherine Ashton is demanding to see movement, and soon.
We return to Andrew Exum, who notices another tweeter informing him of a slight modification to a familiar restaurant:

Crazy. A restaurant I used to go to is now a freaking field hospital. RT @Zeinobia: A field hospital at At Koshri Al Tahrirless than a minute ago via HootSuite


It's not looking good for foreign journalists, as  we see from Gulf News reporter Abbas Al Lawati's disturbing series of tweets:

Just saw a foreign journalist being chased by a mob with weapons. He was alone. They got him. God help himless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


Just heard the first ambulance, hours after clashes startedless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


Protesters are hunting down Al Jazeera journos. I keep having to clarify that I'm not one of themless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


Just a reminder of why it's hard to restore order:

The Army is in a tough position. The people responsible for domestic law & order and crowd control in #Egypt are partisans in the riot.less than a minute ago via HootSuite


Confirmation of Max Fisher's worries--those were, indeed, guns fired in Tahrir Square. The video from Al Jazeera English:


Die Zeit's liveblog helpfully points readers to the Egyptian blogger Zeinobia's Twitter feed, with constant coverage and retweets in Arabic and English. A few details from the past few hours, including one of the most bizarre and disturbing tweets yet:

Help Egypt , Help us I am going to cry they are killing the protesters , they are using camels and horsesless than a minute ago via TweetDeck


Mubarak's thugs are trying to attack Al Shorouk newspaper HQless than a minute ago via TweetDeck


ElBaradei is on Al Jazeera and he is fineless than a minute ago via TweetDeck


Here's some confirmation and an image of that camels-and-horses tweet from Zeinobia. Click to see the camels.

My view when the Tahrir Square rock throwing first began.  http://ow.ly/i/7LHaless than a minute ago via HootSuite


Nick Kristof, on the ground, has reports every bit as grim as those of the other Western journalists:

In my part of Tahrir, pro-#Mubarak mobs arrived in buses, armed with machetes, straight-razors and clubs, very menacing.less than a minute ago via web


Joshua Herst has some more bad news:

Protester calls to report that the square is entirely blocked off by clashes or stand offs. "Its a warzone in here. There is no way out"less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

If the pro Mubarak forces are indeed breaking into the square, lots of people will die. Protesters were basically having a sit in up to now.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


As mentioned earlier, Anderson Cooper's in the melee as well. Here are some of his tweets:

Got roughed up by thugs in pro-mubarak crowd..punched and kicked repeatedly. Had to escape. Safe nowless than a minute ago via web

Its getting really bad in front of egyptian museumless than a minute ago via web


It sounds like Greg Carlstrom for Al Jazeera, who reports having been chased by angry mobs, was also in the middle of the action:

Several people from the pro-Mubarak crowd also threw homemade bombs into Tahrir Square. #jan25 #egyptless than a minute ago via HootSuite


The army largely stood by; when things got tense on Qasr al-Nil, soldiers retreated into their tanks. Pro-Mubarak crowd climbed on top.less than a minute ago via HootSuite


Ambulances haven't been able to reach the wounded in Tahrir Square, and there are surely hundreds of people with serious injuries.less than a minute ago via HootSuite




The Army Attempts to Restore Order

A columnist for The National reports what might be good news:

Al Arabiya: Eyewitness: The army started to separate the NDP thugs & the peaceful protesters from each otherless than a minute ago via web


Some confirmation of earlier worries:

Al Arabiya reporter: The captured individuals who came on camels & horses have Interior Ministry ID cards. Al Jazeera reports the same.less than a minute ago via web


Max Fisher looks at the reports and concludes:

This could be the beginning of a military intervention in Cairo http://bit.ly/fbhAu2less than a minute ago via TweetDeck