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Taliban militants blow up journalist's house in Buner district

(PPF/IFEX) - The home of Rahman Buneri, a correspondent for Voice of America's (VOA) Pashto-language service, Deewa Radio, was blown up on 9 July 2009 by the Pakistani Taliban in the militancy plagued Buner district of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Buneri, who is also the deputy director of news for the local Pashto-language television channel, AVT Khyber TV, works and lives in Karachi, but his parents and extended family live in his ancestral home in Buner.

Buneri told PPF that about sixty masked men with weapons entered the house in Buner at approximately 2:00 a.m. (local time) on 9 July and forced the occupants at gunpoint to vacate it. The attackers ransacked and destroyed the contents of the home. When the family, including Buneri's father, two sisters-in-law and children, vacated the house, the Taliban militants planted explosives on all sides of house and within a few moments there was an explosion. The attackers stayed until the house was reduced to rubble. No one was hurt in the attack.

Buneri said that the attackers told his father that they had been ordered to blow up the house to punish Buneri for speaking out against the Taliban. Buneri believes the immediate cause of the attack was an interview he recently gave to VOA on the situation in Buner, in which he had said that Taliban militants were operating freely in the area.

The Karachi Union of Journalist (KUJ) and the Association of TV Journalists (ATJ) planned a protest to take place on 11 July in Karachi. Yousuf Ali, the secretary general of the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), strongly condemned the attack.
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