UPDATE 1-Al Jazeera studio in Cairo set on fire in third day of violence

Reuters Middle East

* Studio used by Al Jazeera set on fire in Tahrir Square

* Street violence enters third day, dozens wounded

CAIRO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - A studio used by the Al Jazeera TV

network was set on fire on Wednesday in central Cairo as

security forces and protesters fought in the streets of the

Egyptian capital for a third day.

Police said they had arrested three men on suspicion of

being involved in the attack and gave no details on their

identity or any affiliations.

The violence that has wounded dozens and led to more than

100 arrests grew out of protests called this week to mark the

first anniversary of deadly street battles between police and

protesters opposed to army rule.

Egypt's streets have been calmer since President Mohamed

Mursi took power from the generals in July, after winning a

democratic presidential vote. Demonstrations by political and

labour activists remain frequent however, as Egyptians exercise

their new right to protest.

State TV referred to the violence in central Cairo as

"organised sabotage". In a statement, the government condemned

the violence and listed restoring security as a priority.

"Everybody is a citizen of this nation, be they security

men, soldiers or others. All should be aware that the stone that

is thrown wounds everyone, and the Molotov (petrol bomb) that is

lit burns the nation," a cabinet statement said.

The studio operated by Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, a station

set up to cover domestic affairs after the uprising that toppled

President Hosni Mubarak, was badly damaged by the blaze.

Overlooking Tahrir Square, its windows were smashed and two

empty bottles, apparently used for petrol bombs, were found

inside the office, Reuters TV footage showed.

"There were 200 to 250 people gathered outside the studio

chanting against the channel," Ahmed Dessouki, a producer with

the channel, told Reuters television.

The Interior Ministry described the perpetrators as "trouble

makers" who had attacked police officers when they had arrived

to investigate, the state news agency reported. The public

prosecutor has ordered an investigation.

The studio is around the corner from streets that have been

the main site of this week's clashes and where several hundred

youths congregated for a third consecutive day on Wednesday,

some of them throwing rocks and lighting fires.

Television footage showed youths throwing objects at

buildings, including the American University in Cairo. At one

point, a group tried to break down the university gate.

Officials said 118 people had been arrested and 76 wounded

since Monday evening, when the trouble began.

Last year's street battles started when police pulled down

the tents of protesters who had camped overnight in Tahrir

Square after a demonstration against the generals.

That prompted thousands of protesters to return to the

square, triggering clashes, later known as "Mohamed Mahmoud

events" after the street in which they took place.

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