Four journalists injured in attempted assassination on Pakistan interior minister

May. 02, 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has issued new warnings about journalist safety in Pakistan after four journalists were injured in a suicide bomb attack aimed at Aftab Khan Sherpao, the Pakistan interior minister, in the north-western district of Charsadda on April 28.

This incident highlights the dangers that face journalists in Pakistan, IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

According to local reports, 28 people were killed in the suicide attack, and many more were injured including the four journalists: TV cameraman Arif Yousafzai, Subah newspaper reporter Siddiqullah, Ayaz Muhammad of the Associated Press of Pakistan, and Press Information Department photographer Arshad Ali.

Interior Minister Sherpao received only minor injuries in the attack.

There are real concerns for the safety of journalists and other media workers in Pakistan, said the president of the IFJ, the organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries.

The current heated political climate has created a hazardous environment for journalists who are often, unfortunately, the ones caught in the frontline, Warren said.

The IFJ once again calls on the government of Pakistan to take immediate, concrete steps to provide adequate protections for journalists.

This is a fundamental obligation which the government as well as media employers need to accept responsibility.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries.

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