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Reporters “Manhandled” In Khartoum; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Roughed Up By Sudanese Officials

“Sudanese security forces began pushing” Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s senior staff and some members of the press corps to keep them away from a meeting between Rice and Sudan’s president, CBS News reporter Charles Wolfson writes.

MSNBC.com called it an “international incident” this morning. “We were manhandled by Sudanese authorities,” CNN’s Andrea Koppel reported. “We were continuously pushed and pulled to try to keep us out of this meeting.”

At one point, one of Secretary Rice’s aides said, “We have a free press in the United States.” The response from Sudanese officials was, “Well, we don’t here.”

mitchelljuly21.jpgRice demanded an apology, and received it about an hour later. But “shortly after the first apology, another scuffle broke out when NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell tried to ask [Sudanese President Omar] el-Bashir a question about his involvement with alleged atrocities,” according to MSNBC.com.

“Why should the U.S. believe the Sudanese government will stop the killing when the government is still supporting the militia?” Mitchell asked, before guards grabbed her and muscled her toward the rear of the room as State Department officials shouted at the guards to leave her alone.

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