Iraq Kurd TV attacked after broadcasting demo

AFP , Monday 21 Feb 2011

An Iraqi television channel that carried live footage of protests against the autonomous Kurdish region's dominant political bloc was attacked early on Sunday, its owner said

"At 2:00 am (2300 GMT Thursday) in Sulaimaniyah, a group of masked men carrying weapons entered the building of our television channel," said Tuana Othman, owner of the Nalia station.

"They wounded the guard with a gunshot before firing their weapons onto our equipment and then fleeing."

Othman said that while the channel was not fully up and running, it had aired live images of protests on Thursday in Sulaimaniyah, the second-biggest city in Iraqi Kurdistan, to carry out testing.

In a statement following Sunday morning's attack, Sulaimaniyah provincial governor Borhuz Mohammed called for "an inquiry into the incident and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice."

The demonstrations had been against the Sulaimaniyah headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of regional president Massud Barzani, and when the protesters attempted to storm the party's offices, security guards fired into the air, killing two young men and wounding 54.

Immediately following those protests, looters targeted seven offices of the Kurdish opposition Goran party, despite the bloc's denials that it was involved in the protests at the KDP offices.

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