Nightly News   |  February 05, 2011

76-year-old Texan emerges safely from Cairo

Mary Thornberry – trapped for days in her apartment above Tahrir Square – recounts her dramatic walk to freedom to NBC’s Lester Holt.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> tonight, an elderly arican woman caught in the cross fire of this week's violence in cairo is safely out of egypt and on her way back to the united stat states. many of you have followed her coverage of mary thornberry's story. we are happyonight to report she is telling that story no from a much safer place.

>> you have come to the right place. we are happy to have you here.

>> today for the first time we see the frail 76-year-old texan whose tough talk capvated americans back home.

>> i'm going to have to whop them with my rolling pin .

>> she lived in a building above the square. trapped for days until rescued from an unsclosed source came yesterday during a lull in the fighting.

>> reporter: what can you tell us about how you got out?

>> i would rather not go into that in case repercussions could come upon other parties.

>> reporter: eye pa producer caught up with her at the cairo airport today where she talked to me about h freedom.

>> there were people on the floor and blocks in the garedens and the streets were quite littered all the wa littered, with trash and a lot of blocks and there were barricades all over the place.

>> reporter: today she spoke to worried family members back home. her rescuer dropped her at the airport and she spent the night sleeping i the terminal.

>> ias in bad shape. by the time i got here. in order to get there, several times i had to stop and sit where -- whesit on the curb of steps before i could take more steps.

>> reporter: take mary was put on this evenins evacuation flight and tonight arrived in europe on the first leg of her journey back to the u.s. before she left i had to know, mary did you bring your rolling pin with you?

>> my son told me to. but i only brought one little carry on. that is all i have.

>> you may recall in some of her earlier conversations with her by phone, she was critical of the u.s. embay, tonight she had nothing but praise for embassy oicials and