Al-Jazeera: 6 Journalists Restricted in Egypt

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates-- The pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera said Monday that six of its journalists have been blocked from leaving their hotels in Egypt after authorities ordered the closure of the network's Cairo office.

The Qatar-based network initially reported that the staff members were detained.

But an Al-Jazeera official said it was later learned that the journalists were confronted by security forces and not allowed to leave their hotels. They have not been ordered to leave Egypt, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to brief reporters.

The network said the journalists are part of its English-language channel, a sister operation to the flagship Arabic service.

The restrictions come a day after Egyptian authorities shut Al-Jazeera's office, complaining its round-the-clock coverage was slanted toward protesters and could encourage more unrest.

The station denounced the closure as an attempt to muzzle open reporting. It has managed to continue coverage in Egypt with fixed-position cameras and reports by phone.

Earlier, Al-Jazeera called for help from Egyptians to send blog entries, eyewitness accounts and videos to expand coverage of the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.