Iraq Expels Al-Jazeera Reporter

The Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera announced Thursday that Iraqi officials are expelling one of its reporters from Baghdad and barring another from reporting.

The station interrupted a regular newscast to announce that Iraq's Information Ministry had informed it that correspondent Diar al-Omari, an Iraqi, could no longer report for the network and that visiting correspondent Tayseer Allouni must leave the country.

Al-Jazeera said the ministry did not give a reason for the action, which the station called "sudden and unjustified."

"Al-Jazeera channel announces that it has decided to suspend until further notice the work of all its correspondents in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, while maintaining the broadcasting of live and recorded images received from its office in Baghdad," it said.

An earlier version of the statement had indicated the broadcaster would stop carrying live images.

There was no immediate announcement of the move from Iraqi officials, who have taken similar actions against several Western networks.

Western critics have often accused Al-Jazeera of a pro-Iraqi bias in its coverage of the U.S.-led attack on Saddam Hussein's government.

The station is partially financed by the government of Qatar, which also hosts the U.S. military's Central Command for the region.