Egypt court orders Libyan channels off air

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CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the state-owned satellite operator Nilesat to take 14 Libyan state channels off the air, the official MENA news agency reported.

The Cairo Administrative Court ordered the channels off air, after lawsuits filed by Libyan nationals and Egyptian lawyers who say the channels are being used by Libyan leader Moamer Qaddafi to incite violence against rebels trying to overthrow him.

The rebel leadership based in the eastern city of Benghazi has repeatedly accused Qaddafi of using state media as a weapon in the war that has left thousands dead.

In June, NATO — which has been conducting air strikes against Qaddafi’s forces under a UN-mandated operation — denied that it had struck the country’s state broadcaster in Tripoli, following an accusation by a Libyan information ministry official.

Nilesat, which broadcasts more than 600 television channels, says that, as of 2009, it reached 40 million households.

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