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Several more journalists injured in bomb blasts during rally welcoming former prime minister

(PPF/IFEX) - A cameraman for a local national television channel was killed and at least twelve journalists were injured in bomb blasts in the crowded procession to welcome former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her return to Karachi, Pakistan after eight years of self imposed exile.

Muhammad Arif, a cameraman of the private "ARY One World" television channel was killed in the suicide bomb blasts.

At least twelve journalists were also injured. Those that received treatment included the following:

Shahzad Ismail, cameraman of CNBC television channel, critically injured with shrapnel wounds that resulted in the removal of his spleen and damage to his liver and stomach. His right hand was also fractured at in many places. Ismail was admitted to the intensive care unit and was put on a respirator. He has now regained consciousness and is stated to be in stable condition, although doctors fear that the blast and trauma may have affected his heart as well.

CNBC reporter Salman Farooq received shrapnel wounds on his right thigh that damaged the nerves as a result of which he lost the use of his leg. Shrapnel pieces also damaged his knee cap. He is slowly recovering and doctors are optimistic he may regain the use of his leg over a number of months.

Abid Hussain, Cameraman of DawnNews, was seriously injured with shrapnel wounds in his stomach and legs. He remains under treatment in the hospital.

Rashid Ali Panhwar, a reporter associated with the Electronic News Gathering (ENG) service of the state owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP); he underwent surgery for the removal of six inch shrapnel from his abdomen. He remains in the hospital.

Shahid Anjum, reporter of APNA television channel, was hospitalized for injuries to his head. He has been discharged and is now recovering at home.

Siddique Chaudhry, reporter of daily "Khabrain" and member of the executive committee of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), had to be hospitalized for multiple bone fractures on his thigh. He has now been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

Haroon Rashid Toor, Deputy Controller of Electronic News Gathering (ENG) of APP news agency, received two pellets in his leg. He received first aid treatment at the hospital. Toor is based in Islamabad and had come to Karachi to cover the rally

Syed Athar Hussain, a photographer with the daily "Jurrat" and Reuters, received first aid treatment at the hospital for injuries to his head and back.

Arif and the injured journalists were covering the arrival of Bhutto, who herself escaped unhurt in the blasts.

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