Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


7 dead in Syria TV station attack

27 June 2012, 11:59

 Damascus - Gunmen raided the headquarters of a pro-government Syrian TV station early on Wednesday, killing seven employees, kidnapping others and demolishing buildings, officials said.

They denounced what they called a "massacre against the freedom of the press" and held it up as an example of rebel atrocities.

Al-Ikhbariya is privately-owned but strongly supports President Bashar Assad's regime. Pro-government journalists have been attacked on several previous occasions during the country's 15-month uprising, although such incidents are comparatively rare.

Rebels deny they target the media. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group confirmed the raid and the deaths of several employees, but had no other information.

Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi told reporters that gunmen stormed the station compound in the town of Drousha, about 20km south of the capital Damascus, placed explosives and then detonated them. He said the attackers killed seven people and kidnapped others.

"What happened today is a massacre, a massacre against the freedom of the press," al-Zoebi said in comments broadcast on state-run Syrian TV. "They carried out a terrifying massacre by executing the employees."

Several wounded

An Associated Press photographer who visited the compound said five portable buildings used for offices and studios had collapsed, with blood on the floor and wooden partitions still on fire. Some walls had bullet holes, he said.

An employee at the station said several other staffers were wounded in the attack, which happened just before 04:00 local time. He said the gunmen kidnapped him along with several station guards. He was released but the guards were not.

The employee, who did not give his name for fear of repercussions, said the gunmen drove him about 200m away, and then he heard the explosion of the station being demolished. "I was terrified when they blindfolded me and took me away," the man said by telephone.

Earlier this month, two Ikhbariya employees were shot and seriously wounded by gunmen in the northwestern town of Haffa while covering clashes between government troops and insurgents.

Hours after the attack, the station was still on the air, broadcasting a rally in Damascus' main square against the station raid.

Also on Wednesday, Burhan Ghalioun, the former leader of Syria's main opposition group, said he briefly entered rebel-held areas in the north of the country in a rare trip by the exiled political opposition to the interior of the country.

Soldiers killed

Ghalioun told Al-Jazeera TV that the areas he visited in Idlib province are ruling themselves, without any regime presence.

Ghalioun, former head of the Syrian National Council, did not say when he entered or left Syria.

"I went to see the war that the Syrian regime is staging," Ghalioun said. "The regime continues to shell and kill." Ghalioun said he spoke with wounded Syrians including some who lost limbs and others who were paralysed.

He added that he was able to drive about freely and that "part of the country is liberated".

Activists reported violence throughout Syria on Wednesday. The Observatory said at least 10 government soldiers were killed in an ambush in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour.

The group said that rebels were able to shoot down on Tuesday a helicopter gunship in Idlib province. Amateur videos showed what looked like a helicopter burning in a field but the report could not be independently confirmed.

Activists reported other clashes, mostly in Idlib and nearby Aleppo province as well as rebel-held areas in the central city of Homs that have been under government attack for nearly three weeks.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...