Did Google manager Wael Ghonim spark the Egypt revolt with a Facebook page?

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Haaretz

The young Google Inc. executive released after he was detained for protesting against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he was behind the Facebook page that helped spark what he called the revolution of the youth of the Internet two weeks ago.

Wael Ghonim, a marketing manager for the Internet company, has become a hero of anti-government protesters since he went missing on Jan. 27, two days after the demonstrations began.

“This is the revolution of the youth of the Internet and now the revolution of all Egyptians,” Ghonim said in a television interview where he wept as he described how he spent 12 days in detention blindfolded the entire time while his worried parents had no idea what had happened to him.

At least 297 people have been killed in the anti-government uprising which began two weeks ago, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

“The count is based on visits to seven hospitals in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez that included interviews with doctors and morgue inspections,” said the group’s Cairo researcher, Heba Morayef.

Egypt’s Health Ministry has not given a comprehensive death toll, though a ministry official said they are trying to compile one.

The revolt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that erupted Jan. 25 brought days of fierce clashes. Protesters have clashed with police who fired live rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets and fought pitched street battles for two days with gangs of pro-Mubarak supporters who attacked their main demonstration site in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square.

The violence has spread to other parts of Egypt and the toll includes 65 deaths outside the capital Cairo.

Morayef said the count is preliminary and is expected to rise. She said a majority of deaths were caused by live fire and in most cases, doctors were reluctant to release names. She said she did not have a breakdown of how many of the dead were protesters.

See Related: Egypt Archive

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