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Amid Cairo chaos, a rash of attacks on journalists

Egyptian authorities have arrested two Al Jazeera staff in Cairo, according to a report by the Qatar-based news network. The network's Arabic language broadcast, monitored by NBC News, said Cairo bureau chief Abdel Fatah Faiad and local reporter Ahmed Youseef were detained Friday.

Earlier, the station reported that supporters of President Hosni Mubarak had stormed Al Jazeera's Cairo office, and set its equipment on fire, and that its Web site had been hacked.

In a report released Friday by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit watchdog organization, there have been more than 100 direct attacks on reporters and news offices in Egypt since the mass protests began. Within the previous 24 hours, CPJ said there had been 10 anti-press assaults, eight detentions and two attacks on newsrooms.

It also noted that the first reported media death had taken place. Ahmad Mohamed Mahmoud, a journalist with Al-Ta'awun, newspaper, died in the hospital from gunshot wounds sustained on January 28.

"It is stupefying that the government continues to send out thugs and plainclothes police to attack journalists and to ransack media bureaus," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.