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Two journalists among seven killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan's NWFP

Two journalists among seven killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan's NWFP
Residents gather at the site of a bomb blast in Dera Ismail Khan January 5, 2009. Five policemen and two civilians were killed in a bomb blast on Sunday outside a college in Dera Ismail Khan town, in North West Frontier Province, said security and government officials. Paramilitary troops are stationed at the college to provide security for a Shi'ite Muslim commemoration.Photo: Reuters / Mustansar Baloch

At least seven people, three of them policemen and two journalists, were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the Government Polytechnic College near an imambargah in Dera Ismail Khan district of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province on January 4, the Dawn newspaper has reported. The suicide attack followed an explosion of low intensity.

Over 20 people were injured, most of them policemen. Three of them were in critical condition in the district headquarters hospital. Three persons suffered minor injuries in the low-intensity explosion near a teashop. The suicide bomber struck when police and forensic experts were collecting evidence after cordoning off the area around the teashop.

The two journalists who lost their lives are Mohammad Imran and Tahir Awan. Imran, 20, was a trainee cameraman with Express TV, while freelance reporter Saleem Tahir Awan, 45, used to work for local newspapers Apna Akhbar and Eitedal. Like other reporters, police officers and civilians, they rushed to the scene of an initial explosion and were caught by a much larger second blast.

“Awan died on the spot while Imran died in hospital,” Geo TV’s Dera Ismail Khan correspondent, Saeedullah Marwat, told Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). “Imran sent to the scene a few minutes after the first explosion,” his colleague, Express TV correspondent Ramzan Cheema, said. Marwat added: “We are very saddened by the loss of these two journalists. As we need live footage, we have no choice but go to the scene of incidents even though we are putting our lives at risk,” he said.

“With seven journalists killed in 2008, Pakistan is already the world’s second deadliest country for the press, after Iraq,” the press freedom organisation said.

Date posted: January 6, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 751