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ATV Khyber News team attacked

(PPF/IFEX) - Hazrat Khan Mohamed, bureau chief of the private TV channel ATV Khyber News, was injured when the channel's team was attacked by unknown armed men on August 22, 2011 in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The team was returning after enquiring about the health of Provincial Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, when individuals travelling in a car and on a motorbike intercepted their vehicle near the Provincial Assembly Secretariat and Peshawar High Court and pelted it with stones. They also intimidated the media team by firing into the air.

Mohamed received injuries in one shoulder, his head and ribs and was rushed to a local hospital. The team included news chief Syed Waqas Shah, resident editor of the recently-launched Urdu daily "Akhbar-e-Khyber" Nisar Khan, and technical manager Gul-Sher Khan.

Yousaf Ali, General Secretary of the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), told PPF that he and KhUJ President Arshad Aziz Malik had sent a letter to the government, asking them to establish a commission for an impartial inquiry into the incident to determine responsibility and punish those involved in the attack. Ali said they had set September 15 as the deadline for the commission's creation.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ), the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ), and scores of working journalists in different cities staged countrywide protests against the incident and demanded immediate action against the attackers.

Press reports said the provincial information minister, Mian Iftikhar, was engaged in a vilification campaign against the channel due to some differences in opinion and had also filed a damages suit against the channel in the Peshawar High Court. Iftikhar, however, assured the journalists that a probe into the matter would be held.
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