Militants kill five journalists in Iraq TV HQ assault

Militants kill five journalists in Iraq TV HQ assault
Iraqi soldiers in a military vehicle patrol a street in central Baghdad on December 1, 2013

TIKRIT, Iraq - Suicide bombers assaulted an Iraqi television station headquarters on Monday, killing five journalists, the latest in a series of attacks against the media, police officers said.

At least 17 more people were killed in other violence, including four officers who died when mortar rounds struck a military base.

And the defence ministry announced that Iraqi forces destroyed two militant camps, with officials saying the civil war in neighbouring Syria was driving the violence.

The dead from the attack on Salaheddin television in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, were the chief news editor, a copy editor, a producer, a presenter and the archives manager, the police officers said, while five of the channel's employees were wounded.

Two of the bombers blew themselves up during the attack, and security forces killed the other two when they stormed the building.

Last week, militants attacked the Tikrit city council headquarters, killing a council member and two police.

Iraq has come in for repeated criticism over the lack of media freedom and the number of unsolved killings of journalists.

The country is experiencing the worst violence against journalists in years, with 12 killed in attacks since October 5.

Other violence on Monday left at least 17 more people dead.

Mortar rounds struck an army base in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad, killing a brigade commander, three other officers and two soldiers, security officials said.

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