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Bullets found in cars of three journalists in Karachi; journalists whose names appear on MRC "hit list" consider themselves under threat

(PPF/IFEX) - In what is being described as a death threat, on 29 May 2007, bullets were found planted on cars belonging to three journalists in Karachi, the capital of Pakistan's southern Sindh province.

Identical envelopes, each containing a bullet for a 30-bore TT pistol, were taped on the windscreens of cars belonging to Mazhar Abbas, bureau chief of Agence France Presse (AFP) and secretary-general of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and Asif Hussain, an AFP photographer. The third envelope was found on the driver's seat of the car belonging to Zarrar Khan, correspondent of Associated Press (AP). The bullets were discovered at around 10:00 p.m. (local time) on the cars that were parked outside the Karachi Press Club.

Mazhar Abbas and Zarar Khan were among the journalists who had recently been denounced by the Mohajir Rabita Council (MRC) as "chauvinists" and "enemies" of the ethnic Mohajir community. The MRC is closely associated with the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), the senior partner in the Sindh provincial government.

Press reports quoting Mazhar Abbas said the journalists on the MRC "hit list" have considered themselves to be under threat since the day the list was issued.

The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) considers the bullet-planting incident as a death threat to the journalists and has demanded that organisations publicly denounce and disassociate themselves from the MRC list.

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