February 5, 2011 / 12:02 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Clinton: reported attack on Egypt VP shows risks

* Fox reports attempt to kill Suleiman

* Clinton says report highlights risks

* Egyptian security source denies report

(Adds quotes, Egyptian denial, U.S. official)

MUNICH, Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday unconfirmed reports of an assassination attempt on Egypt’s vice-president put into “sharp relief” the challenges of the standoff between government and protesters.

The U.S. Fox television news network reported late on Friday that there had been an unsuccessful attempt on the life of Vice President Omar Suleiman, with two bodyguards reported killed. A senior Egyptian security source denied the report.[nLDE71406F]

“That news report brings into sharp relief the challenges we are facing as we navigate through this period,” Clinton told a security conference in Munich after being told of the report.

But a U.S. official said the secretary of state’s comments did not constitute a confirmation of the news report, which was denied by the senior Egyptian security source.

Suleiman, the former Egyptian intelligence chief, was appointed by President Hosni Mubarak a week ago, the first time the 82-year-old leader has named a deputy in three decades in power. Suleiman has promised to hold to account those responsible for the violence against protesters in Cairo, widely blamed on security forces in plain clothes and Mubarak loyalists. (Reporting by Stephen Brown; editing by David Stamp)

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