Syrian state TV bombed in Damascus, 3 injured
Beirut: Three people were wounded when a state television channel in Damascus was reportedly bombed on Monday, according to Syrian TV. Despite the explosion, the transmission of the channel remained unaffected.
The explosion took place on the third floor of the building and the investigations have started to find out who was behind the attack.
As the fighting between the Syrian forces and rebels continue, Damascus has been hit by string of suicide attacks and bombings.
A pro-government private Syrian TV station, Al-Ikhbariya, 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.
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said the bomb blast caused heavy material damage and light injuries among the employees.
He blamed Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel for the attack. Syrian authorities accuse the Gulf countries and Israel of supporting the rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad's troops and fueling the insurgency in Syria.
"Nothing can silence the voice of Syria or the voice of the Syrian people," al-Zoubi said while inspecting the damage at the TV building. "We have a thousand locations to broadcast from."
Syria's rebels have grown increasingly confident in recent months. In July, the rebels and Syrian regime forces fought intense battles for a week in Damascus in what was the opposition fighters' biggest challenge so far in the capital.
The government claimed Saturday it was now in full control of all districts in the capital, after purging one of the last rebel-held areas, but clashes have continued in some districts of Damascus.
On Saturday, gunmen snatched 48 Iranians just outside Damascus in a brazen attack. Iran said those abducted were pilgrims who were travelling on a bus taking them from the suburb of Sayeda Zeinab, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Damascus, to the airport to return home when they were kidnapped.
But the Iranians' captors claimed in a video broadcast on Al-Arabiya TV station Sunday that one of the captives was an officer of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards and that the 48 were on a "reconnaissance mission" in the capital.
Mainly Shiite Iran is a close ally of the beleaguered Syrian government, which is dominated by the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
(With Agency Inputs)