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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Seven die in Baghdad bomb blast
Screen shot taken from al-Arabiya TV shows smoke rising from the scene
TV pictures from the station showed smoke rising from the scene
A car bomb explosion in the centre of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has killed at least seven people and injured 19, officials say.

The blast happened outside the offices of the al-Arabiya television station in the western Mansour district.

An al-Arabiya correspondent said that among the dead were three people mutilated beyond recognition.

A little-known group is reported to have said it carried out the attack on the station.

A statement posted on the internet by a group calling itself the National Islamic Resistance, 1920 Revolution Brigades, described al-Arabiya as a "treacherous network", the Associated Press news agency reported.

The group warned of more attacks against the station, which it called "the mouthpiece of the American occupation in Iraq", AP said.

It was impossible to verify the authenticity of the claim.

A correspondent for the MBC channel based in the same building, Saad al-Husseini, told AP the network's staff were in a meeting when the bomb went off.

He said the first floor had collapsed on the employees inside.

Earlier, al-Arabiya said it could not be sure that its offices had been the target of the attack.

The BBC's James Reynolds in Baghdad says the station's offices are in the same area as the homes of a number of Iraqi officials.

They are also not far from the heavily-guarded Green Zone, which houses the US embassy.


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