LONDON — A BBC journalist and his cameraman were deliberately attacked in Yemen Monday by government supporters while reporting on violent protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the broadcaster said.

Abdullah Ghorab, the BBC's Arabic correspondent in Yemen, was left cut, bruised and with a bleeding nose in the incident in the capital, Sanaa.

Cameraman Mohammed Omran was beaten and had his mobile phone and watch taken, the BBC said in a statement.

After launching the assault, the attackers pulled Ghorab towards the car of Hafez Meiyad, a Yemeni official known to be close to the president, who rebuked the reporter for tarnishing the country's reputation, the statement said.

The journalist told AFP that he had been beaten by "men from the ruling party."

The attack, near the University of Sanaa, only came to an end when police intervened and the attackers left with Meiyad in his car, said the broadcaster. Ghorab needed treatment from a doctor following the attack.

The BBC said it would protest to Yemeni authorities about the "deliberate assault".

"The BBC condemns this assault on our journalists who are trying their best in very difficult circumstances to report on the situation in Yemen," said director of global news Peter Horrocks.