Three journalists and four workers at the Syrian al-Ikhbariyia Satellite Channel were killed on Wednesday morning in an attack by an armed group.
The group was targeting the headquarters of the pro-government television station, al-Ikhbariyia, located around 20 kilometers south of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi has placed the responsibility for killing of seven TV staffers on the EU, Arab and International organizations. He called it “the worst massacre against journalism and the freedom of media.”
After first ransacking and destroying the satellite channel studios, including the newsroom, terrorists planted explosive devices at the headquarters of al-Ikhbaryia.
An employee at the television station told AP that several people were wounded in the attack and that the guards had been kidnapped. Remaining anonymous in fear of repercussions, he said that the gunmen drove him about 200 meters away, and he then heard the explosion as the station was destroyed.
"I was terrified when they blindfolded me and took me away," the employee said by telephone.
A few hours after the attack, the station was still able to broadcast.
Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted Information Minister al-Zoubi as saying, "This massacre won't go unpunished and the broadcast of the Syrian al-Ikhbaryia Satellite will not stop and we hold the EU and Arab and International organizations responsible for this massacre."
“Those who committed this crime had carried out the decision of the Arab League Council to silence the voice of Syria," he added.
Minister al-Zoubi said that this attack follows the EU decision in Luxembourg to impose sanctions on Syrian TV and Radio, as well as the “continued campaigns of provocation against Syria.”
These comments by Minister al-Zoubi come as Syria’s President Bashar Assad has acknowledged that his country is now in a state of war.
Speaking on Tuesday at the first cabinet meeting of the newly sworn-in government, President Assad said, "We live in a real state of war from all angles. When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war."
Video: More information from the scene: