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Suicide car bomb injures 20 journalists, damages offices of newspapers, television stations

(PPF/IFEX) - Twenty journalists were injured in a massive suicide car bomb blast on 27 May 2009 that killed at least 30 people and injured over 250, in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province. Offices of a number of newspapers and television stations were also damaged in the blast.

According to the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ), more than 20 journalists and media workers suffered multiple injuries. The journalists, who were working in their offices at the time, represent the daily "Khabrain", the daily "Nia Akhbar", Channel 5, the daily "Nawa-i-Waqt" and "Daily Ausaf" newspaper, located near the site of the blast.

The names of injured journalists, listed by the PUJ are: Rana Muhammmad Azeem, Chief Reporter (Channel 5) and Secretary General of the PUJ, Ashraf Majjed ("Khabrain"), Raza Mughal ("Nia Akhbar"), Rafeq Naqshbandi ("Nia Akhbar"), Hafiz Tariq (Channel 5), Azeem Nazeer (Channel 5), Adnan (Channel 5), Irfan (Channel 5), Shahid (Channel 5), Shukat (Channel 5), Omer (Channel 5), Yasir (Channel 5), Sultan (Channel 5), Qazi Tariq ("Daily Ausaf"), Gulzar Chudhary ("Daily Ausaf"), Ghazanfar Awan ("Daily Ausaf"), Nadeem Aftab ("Islamabad Times"), Ghazanfar ("Islamabad Times"), Babar ("Islamabad Times"), Abdul Jabbar ("Nawa-i-Waqt") and Muhammad Kaleem ("Khabrain").

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the PUJ strongly condemn the blast and express sorrow over the loss of innocent lives.

In a press statement, the PFUJ urged the federal and provincial governments to take remedial measures for the safety and protection of journalists, who are facing insecurity in the wake of increasing terrorist activity.

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