A car bomb exploded in front Al-Arabiya’s Baghdad bureau, killing Ali Adnan, a security guard; Hassan Alwan, an engineer; kitchen staff members Ramziya Moushee and Alahin Hussein; and Nabil Hussein, a gardener. Al-Arabiya said 14 other bureau employees, among them five journalists, were wounded in the blast. The bureau, in the upscale Mansour neighborhood, was used by two other Saudi-owned news stations-the satellite channel Al-Akhbariya and Al-Arabiya’s sister channel, Middle East Broadcasting (MBC).
Al-Arabiya’s Web site reported Sunday that a previously unknown group calling itself the “Jihad Martyrs Brigades” claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on the Internet. The statement called Saturday’s attack “just a warning” and threatened more attacks on Al-Arabiya and other media outlets in Iraq. The statement’s authenticity could not be independently verified.
Earlier, a group calling itself the 1920 Brigades said it had carried out the attack, but Al-Arabiya later reported that the same group denied responsibility in a recorded tape.
About 35 staffers were meeting on the first floor when the bomb exploded directly outside the bureau’s front entrance. The blast, which took place in a neighborhood that also houses Iraqi officials and government buildings, left a large crater in the street outside and collapsed the building’s first floor, causing a fire.
Al-Arabiya’s Web site reported that the station has received numerous threats from those describing themselves as supporters of “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi” protesting its coverage, and demanding that the station support the “jihad” against the U.S occupation and Iraqi government.