Police: TV reporter killed in bomb attack in Pakistan

October 11, 2021 GMT

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A local Pakistani journalist was killed in an overnight attack when a roadside bomb went off near his car in the country’s southwest, police said Monday.

Shahid Zehri, 35, was traveling in his car when the bomb exploded in the town of Hub in the Baluchistan province on Sunday, according to Shafiq Mengal, a local police officer.

Mengal said the attack apparently targeted Zehri, but officers are still investigating. Zehri worked for a regional Metro 1 News TV news channel.

Hours after the blast, the Baluch Liberation Army separatist group claimed responsibility.

Baluchistan is the scene of a long-running insurgency by Baluch secessionist groups, such as the Baluchistan Liberation Front and the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which for decades have staged attacks mainly on security forces to press their demands for independence.

However, separatists have also threatened and attacked journalists in recent years.

Pakistan has long been a deadly country for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free, with 15 unsolved murders.