Bahrain says it suspended a new pan-Arab news channel within hours of its first broadcast because it has no license and failed to meet anti-terrorist standards.

The island kingdom's Information Affairs Authority said Monday that the government has blocked transmissions of the Alarab network since Feb. 2 partly because it failed "to take account of efforts aimed at stemming the tide of extremism and terrorism."

Alarab, which is backed by a billionaire Saudi prince, made no comment.

One of Alarab's first broadcast interviews was with government critic Khalil al-Marzooq, a top official in the largest Shiite opposition bloc in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Al-Marzooq and other Shiite lawmakers withdrew from Bahrain's parliament in 2011. He was acquitted last year of "inciting terrorism," a charge that human rights groups called politically motivated.