Syria TV airs footage of gunmen shooting in Deraa

BEIRUT, April 8 Fri Apr 8, 2011 9:52am EDT

BEIRUT, April 8 (Reuters) - Syrian state television aired footage on Friday of several masked gunmen who could be seen shooting in what it said was the southern city of Deraa.

The news anchor said the gunmen were firing at protesters and police. "A peaceful demonstration which vandals infiltrated .. attacked the electricity company and started shooting and opened fire on the television (station) .

"Some of the gunmen were firing live bullets on protesters and security forces. This expresses clearly and openly that there are some people who wish evil on Syria," the news anchor said. The Syrian government has blamed killings during weeks of pro-democracy protests on armed groups shooting at random, while protesters say they have been targeted by security forces. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; editing by Mark Heinrich)