REUTERS, AL ARABIYA (Saudi Arabia), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
DAMASCUS - Gunmen attacked the pro-Assad television headquarters in Syria on Wednesday morning, detonating bombs and shooting three employees dead, Reuters reports. The Syrian Minister of Information gave a higher death toll for the attack, saying that seven people were killed and that others were injured or kidnapped, according to Al Jazeera.
The rebel attack on the private Ikhbariya station south of the capital city Damascus came hours after President Bashar al-Assad declared for the first time that Syria was in a state of "war."
On Tuesday evening Bashar al-Assad told his newly appointed cabinet that Syria was in a "real state of war," denouncing the West's role in the conflict. "When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war," said Assad in the speech, which was also broadcast on state television.
Further dampening hopes for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, a report from U.N. investigators delivered to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday found sectarian violence was on the rise, according to Al Arabiya.
Where previously victims were targeted on the basis of their being pro- or anti-government, the Commission of Inquiry has recorded a growing number of incidents where victims appear to have been targeted because of their religious affiliation, said the report, which also worried about the rebels' use of children "as medical porters, messengers and cooks, exposing them to risk of death and injury.