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Two journalists injured in blast at poet's shrine

(PPF/IFEX) - Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan, a correspondent for the Urdu-language television channel Dunya News, and Waheed-ur-Rehman, a correspondent for the Pashto-language television channel Khyber News, were injured in a blast on May 9, 2012. The incident occurred at the shrine of Ajmal Khattak, a famous Pashto language poet and leader of a political party, in Nowshehra district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa province.

According to press reports, a bomb was planted at Khatak's shrine in the Akora Khattak village, which destroyed the dome and walls of the structure. Police officials rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. Fifteen minutes after the first blast, another blast occurred at the same place, during which eight people were hurt, including the two journalists. The injured were taken to hospital by rescue teams.

Hassan told PPF that he reached the scene 10 minutes after the first blast and as he was talking to the people who were standing around, another big explosion occurred. He suffered injuries to his shoulder and leg while Rehman received injuries to his head. He said some parts of the explosives were lodged in his body and will be surgically removed.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) and other journalists' bodies condemned the attack and called on the government to immediately identify the culprits.

In 2010, the shrine of Sufi poet Abdur Rehman Baba was attacked in a similar manner by militants in Peshawar.

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