Shocking Attack on Pro Assad TV Station in Syria Kills 7

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From the BBC:

Gunmen have attacked a Syrian pro-government TV channel, killing seven people, state media say.

Journalists and security guards died in the attack on al-Ikhbariya TV south of Damascus, Sana news agency reported.

Hours earlier, President Bashar al-Assad said Syria was in "a real state of war" and US intelligence officials predicted a long, drawn-out struggle.

UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has called a meeting of the UN action group for Syria for Saturday.

His deputy envoy said on Wednesday that the violence in the country had "reached or surpassed" levels before the April ceasefire deal.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says that Syrian TV dropped normal programming on Wednesday to run live coverage of the attack on the headquarters of Ikhbariya TV in the town of Drusha, some 20km (14 miles) south of the capital.

State TV showed pictures of burnt and wrecked buildings, with fires still smouldering.

Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi, on a visit to the site, said some of the victims had been abducted, bound, and killed in cold blood.

He also condemned the EU's decision to impose sanctions on Syria's state-run TV and radio agency for its support of the Assad government.

The Ikhbariya attack followed fierce clashes in suburbs of the capital, Damascus, described by opposition activists as the worst there so far.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighting had taken place near positions of the Republican Guard, which is led by President Assad's younger brother Maher and has the role of protecting the capital.

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