Albright security hailed for courage under 'yolk' in egg attack

Brno, Czech Republic, Mar 7, 2000 -- (Reuters) Continuing the light-hearted response to an egg attack on US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the Czech Republic, the State Department on Monday hailed her security team for courage under 'yolk.'

Spokesman James Foley, clearly expecting questions about the incident earlier Monday in which two anarchists managed to splatter a small amount of egg on the visiting Albright, tried gamely to resuscitate an old pun in praising the department's Diplomatic Security detail.

"They may have yolk on them, but they're not yellow," he said to groans from reporters who had jokingly raised questions about the egg-pelting during a regular news briefing.

"They are proud to stand by the secretary and that's what they did," Foley said of the bodyguards who took the brunt of the two-egg barrage outside a lecture hall at Masaryk University in Brno.

Albright, though slightly splattered on the back, was uninjured, according to a Philip Reeker, a spokesman travelling with her.

Having flown from Prague early Monday to spend the day in Brno, the secretary quipped afterwards: "We got up too early for breakfast, so these are our eggs," Reeker said.

He added that Czech police had quickly apprehended the attackers who struck, shouting "To hell with Americans. To hell with imperialists. To hell with her majesty Albright."

In Washington, Foley, quick to admit he had no first-hand knowledge of the incident, said despite the egging Albright had "had another really wonderful day in the Czech Republic" and had otherwise been "very warmly received."

"I wouldn't read anything into it," he said, noting that he understood university students who were with Albright at the time had apologized.

In another stab at lessening the blow from the landing of the eggs, Foley said he had been relieved to learn that the two suspects were not members of the press corps.

"I read that the Czech authorities had detained two self-described anarchists, which was reassuring," he said. "I, therefore, knew I could rule (the reporters) out."

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