The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is saddened and appalled at news that a correspondent for the English-language daily newspaper The Nation was killed and another local journalist injured in a suicide bomb blast in Mingora on February 29.
Sirajuddin was one of 40 people killed as he was reporting on the funeral of a police officer in Mingora in the Swat Valley, close to Pakistan’s North-Western Frontier Province.
Hazrat Bilal, from the local Shawal newspaper, was also seriously hurt in the blast, which injured 81 people.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, said the death of Sirajuddin added to the tragic toll of journalists killed in Pakistan while performing their professional duty.
The last reported similar case was the death of Arif Khan, a cameraman for ARYONE WORLD, who died in a bomb blast at one of Benazir Bhutto’s rallies in Karachi on October 18, 2007.
It was the second killing of a journalist in Pakistan this year. Chishti Mujahid, a senior journalist for Akbar-e-Jehan, a leading weekly magazine, was murdered in Quetta on February 9. A militant group, the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), claimed responsibility.
“The IFJ urges security personnel and police to ensure that the safety and protection of journalists and other civilians is a high priority in all regions of Pakistan during the current political transition,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.
“The loss of Sirajuddin and the injuries suffered by Hazrat Bilal should remind all journalists, media workers and media owners of the extreme dangers of working in insecure environments.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries