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Gunmen kill Pakistani TV news assistant: police

February 12, 2017

Gunmen shot dead an employee of a Pakistani TV news channel in Karachi on Sunday shortly after launching a grenade attack on a police vehicle, officials said.

Taimoor Abbas, an assistant for privately run Samaa, had gone with colleagues to North Nazimabad neighbourhood to report on the assault on police when the van they were travelling in came under fire.

The 22-year-old was taken to hospital but died from his bullet wounds, senior police official Muqadas Haider told AFP.

Haider said the unidentified assailants had thrown an explosive device on a police armoured personnel carrier. No one was hurt in the initial attack but when the Samaa vehicle arrived the gunmen started shooting.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the assault but counter terrorism department chief Raja Umar Khitab said it was a “targeted attack against both media and police”.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and a major business and industrial hub, is rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy.

A strategic operation in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in violence, but scattered attacks still take place.

Pakistan is ranked among the world’s most dangerous countries for the media.

Last month unidentified attackers shot dead a newspaper journalist in Pakistan’s troubled southwestern Balochistan province as he returned home on his motorcycle.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.