Egyptian forces arrest Qataris at Al Jazeera office in Cairo: report

CAIRO Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:58pm EST

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces raided an office of Qatar's Al Jazeera television channel late Wednesday night and arrested 11 Qatari citizens, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

Four Qatari police officers were among those arrested, Al-Ahram said.

It was not immediately possible to verify that the offices raided were linked to the Qatari channel.

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

Al-Ahram quoted security officials saying that they searched the office after receiving reports that firearms were inside. No arms were found during the search.

Security forces seized cameras and audio equipment, along with unlicensed transmitters.

Cairo's relations with Qatar deteriorated after the Egyptian army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3.

The Gulf emirate was a strong financial backer of Muslim Brotherhood rule and vehemently opposes the army's overthrow of Mursi and the ensuing bloody crackdown on his movement.

(This version of the story corrects to note that no weapons were found in paragraphs 4-5 )

(Reporting by Maggie Fick; editing by Jackie Frank)

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