Three killed in raid on Syria's Ikhbariya TV station
Gunmen have attacked the headquarters of a pro-Syrian government TV station, killing three employees, it was reported.
Syrian state agency Sana said the attack on Ikhbariya TV in the town of Drousha, about 14 miles south of the capital Damascus, occurred early today.
An employee at the station said that the gunmen stormed two of the station's buildings, detained some of the guards then blew up parts of it with explosives.
The employee, who did not give his name for fear of repercussions, said the gunmen blindfolded him then drove him away about 200 metres where he heard the explosion.
"I was terrified," the man said by telephone.
Ikhbariya is privately-owned but strongly supports President Bashar Assad's regime.
The building was largely demolished in the attack, but hours later the station was still on air broadcasting programmes.
Pro-government journalists have been targeted on several occasions during the 15-month uprising against Assad's regime, although such incidents are comparatively rare.
Earlier this month, two Ikhbariya employees were shot and seriously wounded by gunmen in the north-western town of Haffa while covering clashes between government troops and insurgents.
Rebels deny they target the media. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the raid and the deaths of several employees, but had no other information.
Information minister Omran al-Zoebi told reporters outside the station that gunmen stormed the compound, placed explosives and then detonated them.
"What happened today is a massacre, a massacre against the freedom of the press," he state-run TV. "They carried out a terrifying massacre by executing the employees."
An employee at the station said several employees were wounded in the attack and other guards were kidnapped.
Revealed: Stunning new images show gold-plated, ultra-luxurious Riyadh metro station that Saudi king has ordered to be built
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Oklahoma tornado latest: Obama pledges support for 'as long as it takes' to rebuild the suburb of Moore
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Salary Package - £60K to £120K: Austen Lloyd: We have an exciting op...
£200 - £250 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Java Developer - Urgent Requirem...
£70000 - £95000 per annum + Bonus, flexible working hours, remote work: Progre...
£50000 - £56000 per annum + Benefits package, flexible working hours: Progress...