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Breaking News

Conflict in the Middle East: Gunmen Kill Director of Palestinian TV in Gaza

Aired January 17, 2001 - 7:48 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: We have a developing story right now. Breaking news that we are just getting word of that the director of Palestinian Television was shot and killed.

Joining us now on the phone Matthew Chance. He is at the hotel in Gaza where the attack reportedly happened.

Matthew, what can you tell us?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Linda.

Well, details are still very sketchy at this stage, but as you said there, I am now standing outside the hotel in which Hisham Miki, the director general of Palestinian Television, was -- we're told by security officials on the ground -- gunned down within the last half an hour or so, while he was sitting, preparing to eat his -- eat some food inside the hotel restaurant.

We're told by Palestinian security officials that two masked gunmen -- at least two -- that walked into the restaurant and opened fired at him at very close range. His body now has been taken to a hospital in Gaza, to a morgue.

Palestinian security officials are now inside the hotel itself, checking through the area, trying to find any clues to who carried out this attack. That's not known, by the way, at this stage. There's also Palestinian bomb diffusal squad have been deployed outside of the hotel to search Mr. Miki's car, which is still parked outside the hotel right now. There is concern right now that it may be wired with some kind of an explosive device.

But, as I say, they're just checking that now. Details, though, beyond that at this stage, Linda, are still very sketchy.

STOUFFER: Matthew, just so I'm clear, though, I know you're beginning to gather details. But the report is that these masked men came in and walked right up to him -- that he himself was targeted?

CHANCE: Well, that's right. I mean, that's -- as I say, it's difficult to say at this stage exactly what was the intention, exactly what were the details. It literally only happened a few minutes ago. But, yes, that's right, according to the information we have at this stage, at least two masked gunmen walked up to him in the restaurant, open fire at very close range. No one else, we're told at this stage, was injured. There does appear to be some kind of deliberate assassination or attack on this particular individual. Again, Hisham Miki, the director general of Palestinian Television here in Gaza.

STOUFFER: Matthew Chance, working that story. He will continue to get details for us.

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