August 6, 2012
August 6, 2012
A bomb has targeted the Syrian state television and radio headquarters in Damascus, injuring several people, the country’s information minister has said.
Omran al-Zoabi said that the bomb on the third floor of the building caused severe damage, but only led to “minor injuries” to several people. No deaths were reported in the blast, and state television put the number of wounded at three.
“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.”
“We know who is behind this cowardly, desperate and deplorable act,” he added, pointing the figure at an armed rebel opposition movement that has purportedly carried out similar attacks in the capital in the past.
“Nothing will stop the voice of Syria,” Zoabi asserted.
The television building lies in the Omayyad district of Damascus, a highly guarded area surrounded by multiple security barriers.
Al-Ikhbariya, a pro-government private Syrian television station, broadcast images of the damage at the state TV building. The footage showed destroyed walls, overturned desks, blown-out cabinet doors, broken glass and dangling electricity cables. A few TV workers were shown tending to a wounded colleague.
Violence in the capital has continued, with fighters who are part of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad saying they are focusing on launching quick “hit-and-run” attacks against government targets, rather than taking control of districts.
The attack in Damascus came as Syrian government forces said they are ready to mount a “decisive battle” for the country’s commercial capital Aleppo, even as rebels say they have made gains in the city’s ancient centre under intense bombardment and strafing from warplanes.
The twin fronts reflect the rising stakes for both sides in an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s government that has so far claimed more than 18,000 lives, according to rights groups.
On Saturday, a brigade of the Free Syrian Army, the main armed opposition group, released an online video showing 48 kidnapped Iranians pilgrims who they claimed were members of that country’s elite Revolutionary Guard.
The video warned that all Iranians in Syria would be “captured or killed” because of Tehran’s strong backing for Assad.
Iran said those captured when their bus was commandeered on Saturday were pilgrims visiting an important Shia shrine on the outskirts of Damascus.