Blast hits Syrian TV and radio building
DAMASCUS: A bomb blast rocked the headquarters of Syrian state television in the heart of Damascus on Monday wounding several people, Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi said.
The blast hit management offices on the third floor of the building in the heavily protected Omayyad district of the capital.
“It is clear that the blast was caused by an explosive device,” Zoabi said.
“Several of our colleagues were injured, but there were no serious injuries, and no dead.” The channel remained on the air but an AFP correspondent reported that firefighting vehicles were parked outside the building and that one of the access roads to Omayyad Square was blocked off.
Pro-government television channel Al-Ikhbariya, which was itself the target of a deadly attack claimed by the rebel Free Syrian Army in June, broadcast footage of Zoabi inspecting the building’s third floor.
The walls were visibly damaged, water pipes broken, and electric cables hung down from the ceiling. Blood could also be seen on some of the furniture.
The broadcaster showed volunteers evacuating a wounded man.
“Syria’s television is being targeted because of its bravery,” Zoabi said. “But nothing will stop the voice of Syria.”
On June 27, gunmen armed with explosives attacked the Al-Ikhbariya offices outside Damascus killing three journalists and four security guards.
On Saturday, rebel fighters attacked the state television building in Syria’s second city, Aleppo.
The same day, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that state television presenter Mohammed al-Saeed had been executed following an abduction claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front.
Posted on a forum featuring the Al-Qaeda flag, Al-Nusra’s statement showed a photograph of Saeed looking frightened with his back against a wall in an unknown location.
“May this be a lesson to all those who support the regime,” it said.