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Iraq suspends Al Jazeera broadcast operations

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Iraq suspends Al Jazeera broadcast operations
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Baghdad: Iraq has suspended the licences of 10 satellite television channels, including Al Jazeera, for promoting violence and sectarianism, Al-Jazeera reported as quoted by a senior official at the country's media watchdog.

"We took a decision to suspend the licence of some satellite channels that adopted language encouraging violence and sectarianism," said Mujahid Abu al-Hail of the Communications and Media Commission on Sunday.

"It means stopping their work in Iraq and their activities, so they cannot cover events in Iraq or move around," Hail said.

The suspended channels included pan-Arab network Al Jazeera and Sharqiya, a leading channel in Iraq.

Al Jazeera has not been formally notified of the ban.

The move comes after a wave of violence that began on Tuesday with clashes between security forces and Sunni Arab protesters in northern Iraq that has killed a total of more than 215 people.

The violence is the deadliest so far linked to demonstrations that broke out in Sunni areas of the Shia-majority country more than four months ago.

The protesters have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and railed against authorities for allegedly targeting their community, including what they say are wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.

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