by Chris Bodenner

The NYT's David Kirkpatrick is on the ground in Cairo and reports on the actions of the pro-democracy icon:

Shortly after Midday prayers on Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei made his way through a 231444024crowd to a waiting line of at least hundreds of police in riot gear. The crowd shouted firstĀ  for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak then, as Mr. ElBaradei stood facing the police, the crowd chanted "peacefully, peacefully"

Police beat them with clubs and used water cannons on the protesters, including Mr. ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and opposition leader, who was drenched as he stood his ground for about 15 minutes.

As the police began to fire tear gas canisters he retreated back inside the mosque, washing gas residue from his face and putting on a mask he recovered.

"This is an indication of a barbaric regime," Mr. ElBaradei said. "They are doomed."

He added: "By doing this they are insuring their destruction is at hand, I have been calling for a peaceful transition now, I think this opportunity is closing."

Choire:

You know what is the worst possible thing the Egyptian government could have done? Detaining just-returned possible opposition candidate Mohamed ElBaradei. That won't inflame protests at all!

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