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Al Jazeera denies report its Cairo office was raided

Source: Reuters - Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:00 PM
Author: Reuters
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(Adds Al Jazeera denial, details)

CAIRO/DOHA, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Qatar's Al Jazeera television channel on Thursday denied a report that Egyptian security forces had raided one of its offices in Cairo.

Egypt's Al-Ahram website said an office of Al Jazeera in the Egyptian capital had been raided and security forces arrested 11 Qatari citizens, of whom four were police officers.

In an email to Reuters, Al Jazeera said the report was not true.

"At the moment, neither Al Jazeera nor Al Jazeera Mubasher nor Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr have any staffed office in the area of Dokki in Cairo, so no security police raid would be possible," said the email. "We deny everything mentioned in the article by Al-Ahram."

A source in Qatar's interior ministry said there had been no reports of Qatari citizens being arrested in Egypt.

Al Jazeera's offices in Cairo have been closed since July 3, when they were raided by security forces hours after the army toppled elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi. The satellite channel, broadcast from Qatar, can still be seen in Egypt.

Al-Ahram quoted security officials as saying they had searched the office after receiving reports that firearms were inside, but that none were found. Cameras, audio equipment and unlicensed transmitters were seized in the raid, it said.

Egyptian-Qatari ties deteriorated after the army unseated Mursi, whose Muslim Brotherhood was supported by Doha.

The Gulf emirate gave Egypt financial support during Mursi's rule and was dismayed by the president's removal and the subsequent repression of the Brotherhood by the security forces.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Amena Bakr; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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