Pakistan: Three staffers of television channel injured in suicide attack while covering protest rally
Lahore: Three staff members of Aaj television channel were injured when a suicide bomber targeted police officials that were negotiating to end a protest by hundreds of pharmacists against amendments to the law to regulate sale of pharmaceutical drugs.
The blast, which targeted the police officials in the busy Mall Road near the provincial assembly in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province in the evening of February 13, 2017 claimed 15 lives and left over 80 injured. Among those killed were including Deputy Inspector General Traffic Police and Senior Superintendent of Police.
The losses to the media teams covering the protest could have been much higher but most escaped unharmed. However, cameraman Abd-ur-Rehman, technician Aun Ali, and driver Muhammad Shafique of Aaj television channel were injured while Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van of Aaj TV was badly damaged. All three injured were rushed to the hospital, where Ali was discharged after initial treatment; while Rehman and Shafique were admitted in hospital for further treatment.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the banned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault, which came three days after announcing that it would carry out a series of attacks on government installations around the country.
“I just heard a horrifying sound and then I found myself in a Ganga Ram hospital as I had become unconscious” said the cameraman Rehman. “My leg and neck were injured and doctors operated on my leg” he added.
Shafique, the DSNG driver received injuries in neck, right foot and abdomen but he was conscious and he went to the office, from where he was shifted to the hospital by his colleagues.
DSNG technician, Ali told PPF that ball bearings hit his neck and back, and was taken to the hospital but when he saw so many seriously injured patients who needed immediate medical assistance; he decided to go to nearby hospital for first aid. He is on bed rest and his condition is improving.
A case of murder, attempt-to-murder and terrorism of the terrorism has been registered by the police.