The United States on Wednesday condemned an attack on a pro-government television station in Syria which killed seven staff in the latest bloody twist of an uprising against the Damascus regime.
"We condemn all acts of violence including those targeting pro-regime elements," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, and also rebuked President Bashar al-Assad for unnecessarily killing civilians with a brutal crackdown.
Live footage broadcast by Syrian state television showed extensive damage to the studios of Al-Ikhbariya satellite channel outside the capital with several small fires still burning.
"The terrorist groups stormed the offices of Al-Ikhbariya, planted explosives in the studios and blew them up along with the equipment," Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi told state television in a live interview.
"They carried out the worst massacre against the media, executing journalists and security staff," Zohbi said, adding that a number of staff were kidnapped.Three journalists and four security guards were killed, state media said.
Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders called for members of a UN observer mission, which suspended its operations on June 16 in the face of worsening violence, to visit the scene to ascertain the facts.