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Pakistan Journalist Among Three Killed in Balochistan Blast

In a tragic incident in Pakistan's Balochistan province, a bomb blast targeting Maulana Siddiqui Mengal's vehicle claimed the lives of three individuals, including the senior journalist, and left eight others injured. Maulana Mengal, who served as the president of the Khuzdar Press Club and was affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party, was a prominent figure known for his media work and contributions to the local newspaper, "Watan."

The explosion occurred near Chomrok Chowk on the outskirts of Khuzdar town, triggered by a remote-controlled roadside bomb as Maulana Mengal approached the area. While condemning the attack, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti ordered law enforcement to swiftly apprehend the perpetrators. The incident coincided with World Press Freedom Day, underscoring the significance of protecting journalists in regions plagued by violence and unrest.

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The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) voiced outrage over the killing, urging authorities to expedite the investigation and bring the culprits to justice. The province has endured a grim history of terrorist activities, as evidenced by recent incidents such as twin landmine blasts in Duki district and targeted shootings in Pishin district.

Pakistan's press freedom landscape has faced persistent challenges, as highlighted by its ranking of 150 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index. According to reports from the Freedom Network, at least 53 journalists lost their lives in Pakistan between 2012 and 2022, with few cases resulting in convictions. These sobering statistics underscore the ongoing threats faced by journalists and the urgent need for enhanced safety measures and legal protection within the country's media landscape.

May 4, 2024 3:43 p.m. 5119

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