Laura Conaway: 'The uprising in Egypt, which had been marked more by peaceful and determined protest, is devolving, and fast. Demonstrators are telling NBC's Richard Engel that President Hosni Mubarak has turned out paid supporters, thugs, to roil the crowds and create violent chaos. The idea is to present the choice as being between Mr. Mubarak and madness.
"If Mubarak were to go, I don't think the country would descend into chaos," Engel told us last night. "If anything, the situation might get quite a bit calmer in the short term."
This morning Engel reports that pro-Mubarak forces are mobbing foreign journalists on the streets. We're also getting new reports of gunfire, of lines drawn in Cairo's Tahrir Square between pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators. UPDATE: Live reports on NPR's curated Twitter feed say pro-government forces have commandeered a military vehicle and are driving it into Tahrir Square, where families are trapped and where anti-Mubarak demonstrators had set up temporary hospitals.'