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Television station attacked, two employees injured

UPDATE: According to CPJ, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban told Agence France-Presse that his group claimed responsibility for the attack. (CPJ, 25 June 2012)

(PPF/IFEX) - Four men riding on two motorbikes opened fire at the offices of the television station Aaj News and the English-language daily newspaper "Business Recorder" on June 25, 2012 in Karachi, the capital city of Sindh province of Pakistan.

According to press reports, at around 9:00 pm, four unidentified armed attackers stopped their bikes in front of Business Recorder House, which houses the head offices of the "Business Recorder" and Aaj News. Subsequently, one of the bearded armed attackers, carrying an automatic weapon fired volleys of gunshots at the building, injuring Jawad, 24, a printing press employee, and security guard Naseeb Khan, 28. The wounded were rushed to a local hospital in the van of paramilitary forces, the Sindh Rangers.

The attack caused considerable damage to the main entrance of the building and a vehicle. The police recovered approximately 14 empty bullet shells from the scene. The firing caused panic among the workers of Aaj News and "Business Recorder".

Asim Munir, News Producer at Aaj News told PPF that an ethnic party from Karachi might be behind the attack as political groups often show such reaction against media houses if they feel their programmes and activities were not getting 'proper' coverage.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), the Rawalpindi/Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and the journalists working with "Business Recorder" and Aaj News condemn the attack and demand that the government take notice of the rising cases of attacks on media freedom.

Meanwhile, Sindh Sharfuddin Memon, the consultant to the Home Department, said the Sindh government would initiate a high-level probe into the attack.

Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Qaiser said a First Information Report of the attack was not registered as evidence was still being collected.
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