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Iraq: 4 killed, 10 injured in Al Arabiya suicide bombing

Iraq: 4 killed, 10 injured in Al Arabiya suicide bombing
DEADLY ATTACK: Fire fighters work at the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad July 26, 2010. A suicide bomber killed at least four people on Monday in an attack that appeared to target the office of Dubai-based Al Arabiya television in Baghdad.

Four persons were killed and 10 others injured in Baghdad on Monday when a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle by the offices of Al Arabiya, its correspondent in Baghdad and interior ministry officials said. The bomber struck at around 9:30 am (0630 GMT) in front of the station's bureau in the city centre, leaving a massive crater and sending a plume of smoke into the air that could be seen from several kilometres (miles) away.

Majid Hamid, a journalist for Al Arabiya, said four people had been killed in the attack — three security guards and a female office assistant. That toll was confirmed by an official at al-Yarmuk hospital in west Baghdad.

"There was a huge explosion that shook the building — all the rooms were damaged," Al Arabiya journalist Tareq Maher said in a live broadcast. Maher said he was in the building when the blast occurred. He said the building sustained heavy damage and the explosion left a massive crater. The street in front of the channel's offices was covered in shards of glass and debris, and nearby buildings showed signs of damage as did several cars.

Major General Jihad al-Jabiri, head of the ministry's ordnance department, told Arabiya TV the car was packed with 128 kg (280 pounds) of ammonium nitrate. The blast left a crater in the ground 3.5 metres (7.7 feet) wide and 1.2 (2.6) metres deep, he said.

The attack occurred a few weeks after Iraqi security forces warned that a number of media establishments including foreign outlets such as Arabiya could be targeted by the Sunni al Qaeda insurgency. Iraq has been on high alert for insurgent attacks since a March 7 national election produced no clear winner and left the country adrift in political uncertainty.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the suicide attack and said all factions in Iraq have to understand that media is not a part in their differences ,or in their wars. "Fighting freedom of expression is not in the favour of any of the parties, as it is a guaranteed right for all. It is a right whose only tool and weapon are words and words will not be combated by violence , killing and destruction," it said.

Al Arabiya has been subject to many attacks by suicide bombers in Iraq since opening its office in 2003 leading to 11 workers being killed .The last attack on the channel office in Baghdad was in 2008. Luckily ,the office manager miraculously survived the bombing.

ANHRI expressedl solidarity with Al Arabiya channel and called on all those who support freedom of expression to announce solidarity with the channel team in Baghdad. It demanded that the Iraqi interior minister should provide adequate protection to mass media in Iraq to prevent future attacks.

Date posted: July 26, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 146