Gunmen torch Iraqi TV station that showed protest

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 20, 2011 19:18

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — Gunmen burst into a Kurdish television station in northern Iraq on Sunday, shooting up the equipment and setting fire to the building, apparently in retaliation for footage they aired earlier in the week of a deadly protest, station officials said.

Later Sunday, about 2,000 demonstrators took to the streets of this Kurdish city, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, for a fourth consecutive day to demand political and economic reforms from the ruling parties that control the region. Police and hospital officials said at least four people were injured — two of them by bullets — after Kurdish forces fired in the air to disperse the crowd.

The attack on the television station took place early Sunday morning, when a group of 40 to 50 gunmen wearing military-style clothes stormed the network's headquarters in Sulaimaniyah, spokesman Farhang Hars said. Officials at the station suggested the raid was retaliation for broadcasting footage of a demonstration last week in which two people were killed. The station had only been on air for a few days.


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