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Lara Logan opens up about sexual assault in Egypt

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Lara Logan Tahir square

Not long before that other big news story broke last night, CBS correspondent Lara Logan appeared on 60 Minutes, opening up for the first and only time about the horrific sexual assault she experienced while reporting in Egypt two months ago.

Logan and a team from CBS were reporting from celebrations in Egypt after President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last February, when she was pulled away from her team and security guard and gang raped by a mob for close to half an hour before being taken in by a group of Egyptian women.

In last night's interview Logan described the attack in detail:

"I didn't even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things. Because the sexual assault was all I could feel, their hands raping me over and over and over again. They were trying to tear off chunks of my scalp . . . not trying to pull out my hair, holding big wads of it literally trying to tear my scalp off my skull. I was in no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying. […] The more I screamed, it turned them into a frenzy."

The attack continued for about twenty-five minutes, until a local woman attending the protests helped pull Logan to safety:

"She put her arms around me. And oh my God, I can't tell you what that moment was like for me. I wasn't safe yet, because the mob was still trying to get at me. But now it wasn't just about me anymore. It was about their women and that was what saved me, I think. The women kind of closed ranks around me."

Logan has said that this interview will mark the only time she publicly discusses the details of the assault, and said she opened up in part  to open a dialogue about the experiences of female journalists, who often keep quiet about sexual harassment and assault in the field for fear of jeopardizing their careers. Hats off to Logan for having the courage to step forward.