Iraqi Rebels Strike TV Station

BAGHDAD -- Gunmen stormed the downtown Baghdad headquarters of a new Sunni Arab satellite television station Thursday, killing the board chairman and 10 others, the second attack on an Iraqi station in the capital in as many weeks.

After the attack, blood stained the polished floors of the Shaabiya satellite television station building, which housed its studio and offices, and bullet casings lay scattered around.

The station was founded in July and was working around the clock to get ready to start broadcasting after the end of Ramadan in about two weeks, so a lot of people were in the office even though the attack came at 7 a.m. local time, executive director Hassan Kamil said. He added that some of those killed had been sleeping.

An unknown number of gunmen, some wearing police clothes, drove up to the building and then stormed inside and "eliminated most of those present," Kamil said.

Kamil said he could not even speculate on who may have been behind the attack.

"We have good relations with all political and religious parties and groups, with the Sunnis and the Shiites, and we are keen to maintain such a balance," he said by telephone.

Despite the losses, he said the station still planned to start its broadcasting as scheduled.