The Obama administration is criticizing the government of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak as clashes in Cairo are demonstrating there will be no easy resolution to the crisis threatening America's closest ally in the Arab world.

A day after President Barack Obama pressed Mubarak to loosen his grip on power immediately, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley levied new criticism at the 82-year-old leader's regime.

He said in a Twitter post the U.S. was "concerned about detentions and attacks on news media in Egypt. The civil society that Egypt wants to build includes a free press."

Crowley didn't address the violence in Egypt's capital. Earlier Wednesday, several thousand Mubarak supporters, including some riding horses and camels and wielding whips, attacked anti-government protesters.