Egypt Protests: Al-Jazeera Journalists Arrested, Network Says

Network reports six journalists were arrested by force and later released.

Jan. 31, 2011 — -- The Egyptian military arrested and later released six journalists from the Arabic television network Al-Jazeera, the network said today.

"Special military units have just raided the hotel where our journalists from Al-Jazeera English were operating," Clayton Swisher, an Al-Jazeera reporter in Doha, Qatar, told ABC News.

Swisher said the journalists were arrested and that newsgathering equipment was also confiscated. Though the journalists were released about 90 minutes later, the equipment was not returned. The six were told authorities did not "want to see [them] again" when they were released.

Swisher told ABC News the network will continue to broadcast from Egypt.

Before news of the journalists' release emerged, U.S. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley tweeted, "We are concerned by the shutdown of Al-Jazeera in Egypt and arrest of its correspondents. Egypt must be open and the reporters released."

The arrests came after Al-Jazeera reported the Egyptian government shut off the channel's signal from an Egyptian satellite. Then, the station denounced the move as an attempt to "stifle and repress" open reporting in Egypt.

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Egyptian Government Shuts Down Most Internet

Last week the government systematically shut down nearly all of the country's internet and cell phone access.

Today marks the seventh day since protestors in Egypt gathered in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

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ABC News' Kirit Radia contributed to this report.

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