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Pakistani journalist killed, three injured in attack on political gathering

(PPF/IFEX) - 8 October 2012 - A cameraman for a television channel was killed and three journalists were injured on 7 October 2012 in an attack on a political party gathering. The incident occurred in Khairpur district of Pakistan's southern Sindh province.

Mushtaque Khand, cameraman for the Dharti TV news channel, was killed while Mukhtiyar Phulpoto, a correspondent for the Awami Awaaz daily, Faheem Mangi, a correspondent for the Naun Sij daily, and freelance journalist Allahdad Rind were injured. Khand was shot in the chest and in the arm and died on the spot. Phulpoto suffered a bullet wound to his arm, Mangi was shot twice, in the chest and in the abdomen, while Rind's arm was fractured.

The injured were rushed to a local hospital where they were operated upon. Mangi was in critical condition after surgery, while Phulpoto and Rind were in a stable condition. According to press reports, two men with automatic weapons resorted to indiscriminate firing at the gathering of the ruling political party, the Pakistan Peoples' Party. The assailants managed to escape.

Nafisa Shah Jillani, a local Member of the National Assembly, who was supposed to be the main speaker at the gathering, told the media that the event was an act of political terrorism. She said there were political opponents behind the incident. She demanded an impartial inquiry and said the attack was an attempt to destabilize democracy.

What other IFEX members are saying

Reporter killed, another in critical condition after gunmen attack ruling party meeting (Reporters without Borders)

"This attack targeted not only members of the Pakistan People's Party but also the journalists who had come to cover the meeting and who were in a different area from the PPP members," Reporters Without Borders said, offering its condolences to Khand's family and friends. "We welcome the announcement that a special team has been created to investigate the attack and that around 10 arrests have already been made, but we insist on the need to identify and arrest those behind it".

In Pakistan, a murderous exercise in democracy (Committee to Protect Journalists)

What is notable is that Khand was killed in the interior of Sindh province - not in Baluchistan, where a secessionist battle is raging, or in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghanistan border where the Taliban remain a predominant political force, or even in Karachi, where political parties ruthlessly battle street-level turf wars. After Khand's funeral, his colleagues and friends demonstrated in front of the Khairpur Press Club, protesting against the government for failing to protect its citizens. Earlier, officials had announced that the government was giving large sums of money to the families of those who had been killed or injured at the rally.

Journalist killed and others injured as gunmen open fire at public meeting in Pakistan (International Federation of Journalists)

One journalist killed in Pakistan; three wounded in attack during political rally
(International Press Institute)

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