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Al Jazeera studio in Cairo set ablaze after angry protest

CAIRO (Reuters) - A studio used by the Al Jazeera TV network in Cairo was set on fire on Wednesday in an attack that an employee said was carried out by a mob that had been chanting slogans against the Qatari-owned station.

The studio overlooks Tahrir Square and is located near the scene of violent clashes between youths and the security forces this week in which dozens of people have been injured. Those confrontations grew out of protests to mark the first anniversary of lethal street battles in the same area.

The first-floor office used by Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, a station set up after the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, was badly damaged by fire.

The studio's windows were smashed and two empty bottles, which had apparently been converted into fire bombs, were found inside the office.

The channel was dedicated to covering Egyptian affairs.

The Interior Ministry described the perpetrators as "trouble makers" who had attacked police officers when they had arrived to investigate, the state news agency reported. The public prosecutor has ordered an investigation.

"There were 200 to 250 people gathered outside the studio chanting against the channel," Ahmed Dessouki, a producer with the channel, told Reuters television.

(Additional reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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