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Privately-owned television station's news team attacked

(PPF/IFEX) - On 28 July 2011, a reporting team for SAMAA TV, a privately-owned news station, was attacked by a group of thugs who warned them of dire consequences if they continued to cover stories in the area. They also set the station's van ablaze. The incident took place in Karachi, the capital city of Pakistan's Sindh province.

The television news crew included reporter Ghayasuddin, cameraman Faisal Aghai and driver Zahid Shah.

Ghayasuddin told the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that the news team was covering a police operation against car thieves when a group of armed men attacked their van. When the reporter asked why they attacked the van, they used abusive language and demanded that the news crew leave the area.

According to Ghayasuddin, as they were packing up their equipment, the thugs attacked their van again, pelting stones at it and firing gunshots into the air. The police suddenly vanished from the scene. The members of the news crew, who tried to save their vehicle and equipment, managed to take shelter in a vacant house. The armed men then set the television station's van ablaze and besieged the house. Meanwhile, Ghayasuddin managed to contact the police and the SAMAA TV office. After about an hour and a half, police officers arrived at the scene and helped them exit the house.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) expressed deep concern over the attack, demanding that the government take note of the incident and that the culprits be brought to justice.

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