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Journalists assaulted, their equipment destroyed, media vehicles burned during disturbances in Karachi

(PPF/IFEX) - Five journalists, including a female cameraperson, were attacked and their cameras were destroyed while they attempted to cover the incidents of violence that erupted on 9 April 2008 in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. According to press reports, masked men attacked journalists who were covering the violence in different parts of the city. The vehicles of at least two reporters were also set on fire during the disturbances.

Lala Rukh, cameraperson with Pakistan's leading private television network Geo News, suffered a fracture to her arm while trying to resist the attackers. Other journalists who were attacked included Arshad Mahmood, a reporter of the Sindhi-language television channel KTN; Mohammad Junaid of Express television channel; Sabir Mazhar of an Urdu daily; and Makhdoom Adil of Online news agency.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemned the incident and termed the situation in Karachi as "dangerous". A statement by Mazhar Abbas, secretary general of the PFUJ, said: "This is an alarming situation and we fear for the safety and security of our colleagues".

Journalists covering the National Assembly session staged a symbolic walkout from the press gallery on 10 April to register their protest against the attacks in Karachi.

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