Thursday, February 08, 2007

Iraqi Cabinet: al-Jazeera 'against the Iraqi people', spreads 'death and destruction'

BAGHDAD, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Iraq's government on Wednesday accused Al Jazeera television, which it kicked out of the country two years ago, of helping to "spread death and destruction" in its reporting.

The cabinet called on parliament to take legal action against the pan-Arab Qatar-based satellite channel that has angered the Shi'ite-led government with its Iraq coverage.

"Al Jazeera continues to have a publicly shameless stand against the Iraqi people and to contribute in spreading death and destruction in Iraq," the cabinet said.

Al Jazeera said the statement was "unjustified, baseless and ridiculous". "What did we do, nothing?" said Ahmed Sheikh, the editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera's Arabic service.

"The Iraqi government is looking for a scapegoat to justify their failure in bringing security and stability to Iraqis."

The government banned Jazeera from reporting in Iraq two years ago, although its new English-language service has a presence in Baghdad and it continues to broadcast from the northern autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

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