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Pakistani TV Journalist Killed By Roadside Bomb In Troubled Balochistan

Journalists protest in Quetta asking authorities to arrest the killers of a local reporter who was shot dead in April. Members of the press are often targets in Balochistan, which is beset by separatist violence.

A Pakistani television reporter has been killed in a bomb blast in the southwestern province of Balochistan that was claimed by a local separatist group.

Journalist Shahid Zehri, 35, and a friend were traveling to the northwestern city of Karachi by car when a bomb exploded in the vehicle in the Hub area overnight, officials and colleagues said on October 11.

Both suffered critical injuries. Zehri, a reporter for Karachi's Urdu-language Metro News 1 Television, was later declared dead.

The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the bombing -- the latest deadly attack in the troubled Pakistani region where the BLA has claimed previous violent incidents.

Journalists are frequently targeted in such attacks.

On July 7, Baluch journalist Anwar Jan Katran was killed in the Barkan area.

In a joint statement, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) urged the Pakistan government to ensure that those involved in the latest attack are promptly brought to justice.

"The murder of journalist Shahid Zehri exposes a failure of the Pakistan government to protect journalists," said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger, who called on the government to immediately address the "deteriorating safety of journalists in Pakistan."

According to the IFJ's South Asia Freedom Press Report, nine Pakistan journalists have lost their lives in attacks in 2020 and 2021.

Balochistan has been the scene of frequent militant attacks and a long-running insurgency by groups seeking independence for the mineral- and gas-rich province bordering Iran and Afghanistan.