An official television channel early Wednesday was the target of a bloody attack near Damascus, the first of its kind in 15 months of revolt. During the unprecedented attack against the headquarters of Al-Ikhbariya channel three journalists and four guards were killed while "other people were abducted by terrorists who also stole the equipment," according to the official SANA news agency.
The information ministry denounced the "heinous aggression against the freedom of the press," slamming the sanctions by the European Union against the official Syrian radio and television stations over claims they "serve as a propaganda tool of the regime".
"The armed terrorist groups killed journalists, technicians and guards, activated explosive charges and burned the facilities," the ministry said.
The opposition Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) spoke about "an attack with shells" against Al-Ikhbariya, which continued to broadcast its programs.
The attack against the channel came a day after fierce fighting between army soldiers and rebels near Damascus, around positions of the Republican Guard in charge of protecting the capital and its environs, according to SOHR.
The rebels have intensified their attacks increasingly, according to activists. A helicopter was shot down and three military vehicles were destroyed Tuesday in Idleb (northwest) and on Wednesday, rebels launched an attack near the military airport in Aleppo.
At least 16 people died Wednesday in violence, according to SOHR.