Three persons, including a senior journalist, were killed, and eight others were injured on Friday in a bomb blast that occured in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, news agency PTI reported citing local officials. The explosion was triggered by a remote-controlled roadside bomb near Chomrok Chowk on the outskirts of Khuzdar town, as per the report. 

According to the report, the bombing targetted Maulana Siddique Mengal, a senior journalist, and the president of the Khuzdar Press Club. 

“Maulana Mengal, along with two bystanders, fell victim to the blast, while eight persons sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital,” an official was quoted as saying by PTI. 

Mengal, also affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party as a provincial office-bearer, contributed articles to the local newspaper, ‘Watan’. The attack on Mengal also coincided with the observance of the World Press Freedom Day. 

While investigations are underway, authorities are yet to ascertain whether Mengal was specifically targetted for his journalistic endeavours or political affiliations within the JUI-F party. 

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugto instructed the Inspector General of Police tp apprehend the perpetrators responsible for the attack as soon as possible, the PTI report said. 

In protest against Mengal’s killing, the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) staged a protest, urging the provincial government to expedite the arrest of the assailants. 

It is to be noted that Balochistan has been marred by a spate of terrorist incidents over recent years. 

Just a day before the Friday bombing, twin landmine explosions near Thaikedar Naddi in the Duki district killed one and left 20 others wounded. The initial explosion occured as a truck inadvertently detonated a landmine, followed by a second blast amid the ensuing chaos. On Friday, unidentified gunmen targetted senior police officers in the Kali Tarata area of Pishin district, injuring a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and a Station House Officer (SHO). Meanwhile, in a separate incident, in the Tump area, armed assailants shot two labourers. 

Pakistan was ranked 150 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF). According to a report by Freedom Network, an independent media watchdog, at least 35 journalists were killed in the country between 2012 and 2022, with convictions done in only two cases. 

Facebook Comments Box
Translate »