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Three Pakistani media professionals killed in bomb blasts

A member of the Balochistan Union Of Journalists holds a photograph of his colleague Imran Sheikh, during a silent sit-in in Quetta to protest bomb blasts and the killings of members of the media, 11 January 2013
A member of the Balochistan Union Of Journalists holds a photograph of his colleague Imran Sheikh, during a silent sit-in in Quetta to protest bomb blasts and the killings of members of the media, 11 January 2013

REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

(PPF/IFEX) - 11 January 2013 - Three media professionals were killed and three others injured in a bomb blast in Quetta, the capital of the restive Balochistan province of Pakistan. On 10 January 2013, the journalists were reporting on an explosion that had occurred about a few minutes earlier, when a second bomb exploded, killing and injuring many, including the journalists.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a militant group, has claimed responsibility for the blasts which targeted the Hazara Shia community.

Imran Shaikh, a cameraman for Samaa TV, Saif ur Rehman, a reporter for the same television station, and Mohammad Iqbal, a photographer for the NNI news agency, were covering the scene of the suicide bomb blast when the second blast occurred, killing them on the spot.

Iqbal's brother Muhammad Hasan, a reporter for the Independent News Pakistan news agency, Acne Roger, a cameraman for Geo TV, and Ather, a satellite engineer for Samaa TV, were injured in the blast. Roger is stated to be in serious but stable condition. Satellite vans of a number of television stations were also damaged.

A Samaa TV reporter told PPF that the suicide bomber came to the basement of a building housing a snooker club, in an area inhabited by the Hazara Shia community, and blew himself up at about 9:00 PM on 10 January. A few minutes later his car, which was parked outside the building, was blown up remotely.

Police said that more than 100 kg of explosives were used in the car bomb. Over 100 persons were killed and more than 200 injured in the blasts.

Shaikh is survived by his wife and two daughters, Rehman leaves behind his wife and three sons while Iqbal was unmarried. The management of Samaa TV announced the awarding of Rs.1 million (approx. US$10,270) and one year's salary for each bereaved family. The Government of Pakistan has also announced Rs.1 million for the bereaved families.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and journalists from all media organizations strongly condemned the killings of the journalists. PFUJ staged a countrywide protest on 11 January.

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