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Press club attacked by suicide bomber

Journalists are targeted by extremist groups in reprisal for Pakistani military tactics.
Journalists are targeted by extremist groups in reprisal for Pakistani military tactics.

via IPI

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive on the grounds of the Peshawar Press Club on 22 December, killing the bomber and at least four people, report the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) and other IFEX members.

A young man walked up to the gate of the press club and blew himself up when he was stopped by a police constable, reports PPF. The blast blew out the press club's windows and tore through nearby vehicles, injuring 23 people. None of the approximately 30 journalists on the upper floor of the club were hurt.

Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), has been the target of several recent attacks in reprisal for the Pakistani military campaign against Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in nearby tribal areas, reports PPF. The press club and Khyber Union of Journalists officials had received threats from militants and insurgent groups prior to the attack.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) say the threats are attempting to "stop them from providing news coverage of their activities against citizens and their acts of terrorism."

Owais Ali, Secretary-General of PPF, told the International Press Institute (IPI) that many journalists do not have the money to establish security measures and warned that if the government does not take steps to protect journalists, they may self-censor to avoid the fury of militants.

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