Qatar's Al Jazeera battles cyber-attack


File: The Al Jazeera logo is seen in the new Al Jazeera America television broadcast studio on West 34th Street August 16, 2013 in New York.

DOHA - Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera experienced a widescale cyber-attack, which had targeted "all systems" on Thursday.

"Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber-attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms," the broadcaster said on Twitter.

A later statement from the broadcaster said the attack occurred after a fortnight of increased cyber activities, aimed at its network.

"Today, we've noticed a significant increase in cyber attempts targeting our users and systems," read the statement.

"Our teams have been working diligently to ensure all of our users are protected and systems are operating normally."

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Following the initial reports of a cyber-attack, some viewers in the region said they could no longer receive Al Jazeera television.

Al Jazeera, one of the largest news networks in the world, has long been a source of conflict between Qatar and its neighbours, who accuse the broadcaster of bias and of fomenting trouble in the region.

There have been heightened tensions in the Gulf, which has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and other allies cut ties with Qatar.

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The countries severed relations  with Qatar, over Doha's alleged financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival.

Last month, Qatar claimed its state news site was hacked by unknown parties who posted "false" statements attributed to the emir in Kuwait, in which he speaks favourably of Iran and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Earlier this month, Qatar said the FBI was helping it investigate the source of the alleged hacking.