Six die in attack on Iraqi military base, television station burned

Dec. 23, 2013 at 4:37 PM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Gunmen attacked a satellite television station in Tikrit, Iraq, Monday afternoon, setting fire to the building after a battle, police said.

Gunfire and bombs could be heard from within the offices of Salahudin television channel, 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Baghdad, after a bomb exploded at the entrance to the building and a column of black smoke could be seen rising from the scene, a police source told the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.

There was no immediate report on casualties.

The incident followed an attack on an Iraqi military unit west of Baghdad Monday that left six soldiers, including four senior officers, dead, authorities said.

The missile attack targeted barracks belonging to a military battalion in the Abu Ghraib area, an Iraqi police official told the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA.

Xinhua reported the attack came as Iraqi soldiers were carrying out a large-scale anti-al-Qaida offensive in the volatile region west of Baghdad through the province of Anbar.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Sunday a Sunni anti-government sit-in camp in the area had become "a base for the leadership of al-Qaida." He urged protesters "to leave the camp so that al-Qaida will stay alone."

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. The U.N. Assistance Mission of Iraq reported 8,109 Iraqis, including 952 security force members, were killed from January to November.

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