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Egypt: Hillary Clinton's motorcade pelted by tomatoes

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade was pelted by tomatoes in Alexandria as protesters chanted, "Leave, Clinton."

Hillary clinton motorcade tomatoes alexandria july 15 2012Enlarge
Egyptian riot police stand guard as protesters gather while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a flag-raising ceremony at the US Consulate General in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on July 15, 2012. Officials said Clinton's motorcade was struck by protesters' shoes and tomatoes. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade was the target of protesters' shoes and tomatoes in the port city of Alexandria, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported that an Egyptian official was struck in the face by a tomato, but Clinton and her vehicle were not struck by any of the objects thrown, according to a senior state department official.

Egyptian security officials said that protesters chanted, "Leave, Clinton," and "Monica, Monica," referring to former President Bill Clinton's affair.

CNN reported that the tomato-throwing happened as Clinton's motorcade was leaving the newly reopened US Consulate in Alexandria. The vocal protests at the beginning of her visit forced the ceremony to be moved indoors, said CNN.

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Clinton said she wanted to answer criticism that Washington had taken sides in Egyptian politics. She said, "I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot."

She added, "I have come to Alexandria to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for their democratic future," according to CNN.

At the ceremony, she said, "Democracy is not just about reflecting the will of the majority," according to the Associated Press. "It is also about protecting the rights of the minority."

She added, "Real democracy means that no group or faction or leader can impose their will, their ideology, their religion, their desires on anyone else," according to the AP.

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During her meeting earlier in the day with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Clinton urged Egypt's top military commander to work with newly elected President Mohammed Morsi, according to The Los Angeles Times.

However, hours after their meeting, Tantawi told reporters that the military would not allow a "certain group" to dominate the country's politics, saying, "Egypt is for all Egyptians and not for a certain faction."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/120715/hillary-clintons-motorcade-pelted-tomatoes-egypt