Arab TV channels deny Rumseld claims

26 November 2003
Doha-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera and Dubai's Al-Arabiya television channel on 26 November condemned scathing comments made by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the previous day, in which he said there was evidence linking the two channels and anti-coalition forces in Iraq. 'To say that Al-Jazeera has previous knowledge of the attacks is utterly not true', said Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout. 'The only comment we have is that [Rumsfeld] has to show the evidence,' said Al-Arabiya editor-in-chief Salah Negm. 'We have never broadcast tapes of attacks as they happen, it was always the aftermath. We arrive there at the scene like everyone else.'

The Iraqi Governing Council on 24 November announced that it was to take legal action against Al-Arabiya for footage of masked men calling for attacks against the coalition forces in the country. The move has been supported by US authorities in Iraq (MEED 24:11:03).

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