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Rioters damage Jazeera office

Jan. 24, 2011 5:41 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 25, 2011 9:18 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An angry crowd on Monday vandalized the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera's Ramallah office, onlookers said.

Security forces stepped in after a dozen youths broke a security gate at the building before entering it and sprayed graffiti.

Al-Jazeera International correspondent Alan Fisher wrote on his Twitter page that no one was injured before police arrived.

Footage of the incident posted on YouTube later Monday showed a handful of young Palestinians shouting and chanting slogans at Al-Jazeera's staff. One tells a photographer to stop filming.

Ramallah's municipality urged pedestrians not to congregate near the building which houses the network. In a statement, the municipality called for restrain but also saluted "the position of the Palestinian street."

The incident followed criticism of the network from Palestinian Authority officials who were named in an Al-Jazeera series dubbed the Palestine Papers, which revealed PA compromises with Israel on key issues.

"Al-Jazeera's information is full of distortions and fraud," PLO chief Yasser Abed Rabbo said Monday.

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