Al Jazeera Cairo office destroyed by 'thugs'

Al Jazeera's coverage of Egypt's upheaval has been watched throughout the Middle East.

Al Jazeera Cairo office destroyed by 'thugs'

The Qatar-based satellite channel Al Jazeera said on Friday that its office in Egypt's capital Cairo had been burnt and destroyed by "gangs of thugs".

The news channel, which was ordered by Egyptian authorities earlier this week to stop operations in the country, accused them or their supporters of trying to thwart its coverage of political unrest in Egypt.

"The Al Jazeera Network have reported that their office in Cairo has been stormed by gangs of thugs. The office has been burned along with the equipment inside it," the channel said in a statement.

"It appears to be the latest attempt by the Egyptian regime or its supporters to hinder Al Jazeera's coverage of events in the country."

On Jan. 30, the Egyptian government said it had suspended Al Jazeera's operations for alleged false and exaggerated reporting of the unrest, cancelling its licences and the accreditation of all staff.

But Al Jazeera continues to operate in Egypt and can be seen by ordinary Egyptians via other satellite feeds. It is also being aired on a giant screen in Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicentre of the popular revolt against President Hosni Mubarak.

On Thursday, the news channel said three of its journalists were released after being detained by Egyptian authorities while covering massive street protests.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets for the past days in Egypt demanding an end to Mubarak's authoritarian 30-year rule, in protests that have sent shock waves through the Arab world.

Al Jazeera's coverage of Egypt's upheaval has been watched throughout the Middle East.

Launched in Qatar in 1996, Al Jazeera has more than 400 reporters in over 60 countries, according to its website.

On Thursday, the United States and Britain condemned the intimidation of various foreign reporters covering protests against Mubarak and said the Egyptian government must not target journalists.

Reuters

Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2011, 11:21
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