Attack kills 4 at Baghdad TV station

Likely al-Qaeda bomber blows up minibus at Al Arabiya office in Iraq.

Iraq bomb rubble 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Iraq bomb rubble 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber driving a minibus blew himself up in front of the Baghdad office of popular Arabic-language satellite news channel Al-Arabiya early Monday, killing four people, police and hospital officials said.
Majid Hamid, a Baghdad-based correspondent for the Saudi Arabia-owned, Dubai-based channel, said the bomber was able to pass through the first security gate and detonated the bomb in front the channel's office.
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The bomber, who was driving a minibus, was apparently waved through the first checkpoint after security guards checked his identification, said Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi. He said three guards and a cleaning woman were killed in the blast that left another 10 injured.
Al-Moussawi said Iraqi officials had previously found al-Qaida documents indicating the militant group planned to target Arab news channels in the country. He said the channel was informed.
"This has the clear fingerprints of al-Qaida," al-Moussawi told the channel.
Al-Arabiya correspondent Tarek Maher said he was in the building when the blast occurred. He said the building sustained heavy damage and the explosion left a massive crater.
Al-Arabiya is among the most popular Arabic news stations, but has been viewed by militants in Iraq as too pro-Western and has been targeted in the past.
Two years ago, the television's Baghdad bureau manager escaped assassination when a bomb was found under the seat of his car as he prepared to leave home for work.