Protesters Firebomb Al-Jazeera Office in Cairo

November 22, 2012  

Egyptian protesters firebombed the office of satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera in Cairo on Wednesday, as the third day of violent anti-government demonstrations rages on in the volatile Egyptian capital.

Hundreds of protesters reportedly attacked the studio overlooking Tahrir Square with Molotov cocktails, engulfing it in flames.

“At about 11 o’clock (1100 GMT) a group of protesters gathered near the office,” Abdulla Ebeid, the operations manager of Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr said, according to the RT news agency.

“They started to throw rocks at us and after all the windows were broken they threw a Molotov (petrol bomb) inside the studio so that it caught on fire. And, as you can see, all the components got ruined – the cameras, lighting systems and all the equipment got burned,” he said.

After the attack, a crowd beat up Cairo Police Chief Osama el-Saghir, who had traveled to Tahrir Square to diffuse the situation, a security official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Protesters have accused Al-Jazeera of being biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that was swept to power following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

The attack came after the arrest of 118 people since clashes broke out on Monday during a protest to mark the first anniversary of deadly street battles that ousted Egypt’s then ruling military power.

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