`Egyptian VP survives assassination bid`

Last Updated: Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 11:58

Washington: An assassination attempt on Egypt`s Vice President Omar Suleiman has failed, but it left two of his bodyguards dead, a media report said.



The attempt to kill Suleiman took place in recent days, sources told Fox News on Saturday.



Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had appointed Suleiman as vice president to quell the unrest in the country.

Mubarak, who has ruled the country for nearly 30 years, is under intense pressure to quit with defiant protesters gathered at Cairo`s downtown Tahrir Square stepping up their demonstration.



An Obama administration official said the attack took place after Suleiman, a former spy chief, was appointed vice president on January 29.



It was an organised attack on Suleiman`s motorcade, Fox News said.



When contacted, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said: "I`m not going to ... get into that question."



The vice president`s post was empty when Suleiman was tapped for the job. The appointment took place after the protests that began on January 25 intensified.

The US is holding discussions with Egyptian officials on a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and hand over power to a transitional government that would be supported by the military.



The Barack Obama administration is working on the proposal for Mubarak to quit now and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, New York Times quoted administration officials and Arab diplomats as saying.



Suleiman backed by Egyptian armed forces chief Lt Gen Sami Enan and Defence Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.



A senior administration source, while expressing surprise that news of the assassination attempt was just now breaking, said: "He (Suleiman) is the transition plan ... or at least one of them for the Egyptians."



Egypt receives about USD 1.3 billion in military aid from Washington every year, second only to Israel, and has received nearly USD 30 billion in economic aid since 1975, according to State Department figures.



IANS



First Published: Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 11:58

comments powered by Disqus