[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Gunmen kill 11 in Baghdad TV raid
Shaabiya employees stands by their colleague's coffin in Baghdad
The motive behind the attack remains unclear, officials say
Gunmen have killed 11 people in an attack on the offices of a new satellite TV channel in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

The victims, thought to be security guards and technicians, died in the raid on the Shaabiya channel in Zayouna in the east of Iraq's capital.

The channel has so far only broadcast test messages and is said to be aimed at a largely Sunni Muslim audience.

Sunni-Shia violence has forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee homes.

Hassan Kamil, executive manager of Shaabiya, said masked gunmen - some also wearing police uniforms - raided the station at about 0700 local time (0400 GMT).

He said some of the staff had been sleeping there overnight. They were shot dead in their beds, many with a single bullet to the head or chest.

Some of the attackers were wearing police uniforms and others civilian clothing, all were masked
Hassan Kamil
Shaabiya executive manager

Among the dead was the station's board chairman, Abd al-Rahim Nasrullah, who was also the leader of the small nationalist political party to which the Shaabiya was affiliated.

Two survivors who were wounded managed to escape, police said.

"Some of the attackers were wearing police uniforms and others civilian clothing. All were masked," said Mr Kamil.

The gunmen arrived in what appeared to be police vehicles, police said.

Media toll

It remains unclear why the station was singled out for this attack, the BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says.

The channel is still said to be transmitting test broadcasts of patriotic music and video.

More than 100 foreign and local media workers have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, the Reporters Without Borders watchdog says.

Many Iraqi media outlets are funded by groups with religious and political affiliations, making them targets for sectarian attacks.

Shia militias have frequently been accused of using fake police uniforms and vehicles to carry out abductions and murders, though some units of the police have also come under suspicion, our correspondent says.

All national police units are being retrained. They are being given new uniforms with a computer-generated design that the authorities hope will be impossible to copy.

The violence is continuing despite a major crackdown by US and Iraqi troops in Baghdad.

On Thursday, five people died and 11 were injured in co-ordinated car bombings in Baghdad.

One bomb exploded in central Baghdad's Bab al-Sharji district and another went off shortly afterwards as police and rescue services arrived.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific