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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK
Al-Jazeera resumes work in Iraq
Al-Jazeera broadcast of Saddam Hussein
The station has shown Saddam Hussein speeches
Al-Jazeera, the Arabic news channel, has resumed full coverage from Iraq after Baghdad lifted its ban on two of its correspondents.

The station had limited its broadcasts from Iraq after the Information Ministry barred Diyar al-Omari - an Iraqi - from reporting, and ordered correspondent Tayseer Alouni to leave the country.

But a full service was restarted after the Iraqi Government informed al-Jazeera's Baghdad bureau the correspondents were no longer forbidden to work.

The satellite station, based in Qatar, resumed full reporting from Iraq on Friday following the Information Ministry's backdown.

"Al-Jazeera welcomes the move by the Iraqi Information Ministry to reverse its decision and immediately relaunches the activity of its correspondents in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul," the channel said.

After the initial ban on Thursday, al-Jazeera decided to stop broadcasting reports from its eight correspondents in Iraq.

Not first time

But it did continued to broadcast live and taped events from its three offices in Iraq.

Al-Jazeera welcomes the move by the Iraqi Information Ministry to reverse its decision...
Al-Jazeera statement
The channel's editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Helal, had told the BBC that the Iraqis had given no reasons for their initial ban, which he called sudden and unjustified.

He added that it was not the first time the Iraqi authorities had tried to ban its journalists.

"We faced lots of things like that before from the Iraqi Government and from other governments in the Arab region, because this is a way they think," Mr Helal told the BBC.

The broadcaster is one of the most influential voices in the Arab world. It says it has 35 million viewers.

The US and UK have accused the station of bias and criticised it for airing pictures of dead Western troops.

Al-Jazeera's new English-language website has suffered a number of denial-of-service attacks since the war began, in which hackers flooded the site with junk messages.

Visitors were also redirected to web pages with pro-US messages or pornography.

Iraq expelled correspondents for the US cable news broadcaster CNN last week.

The BBC's Fiona Werge
"No reason for the decision [to ban the reporters] was given"

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