In a development that blows holes into Pakistan’s claims of acting tough on terror, outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Monday claimed responsibility for an attack on Samaa TVs van that left its assistant cameraman Taimur dead.
"The media is not impartial and we've issued several warnings to them," Daily Pakistan quoted TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khorasani as saying in a statement.
The media van was in the Chowrangi area of Karachi to cover a cracker attack on a police vehicle, which occurred minutes before it was attacked by unidentified gunmen.
"Our team members along with the DSNG had gone there to cover the cracker attack on the police vehicle when they came under attack," said Farhan Malik, Samaa TV's director news.
Unidentified assailants opened fire on Samaa TV channel’s Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van on Sunday near KDA Chowrangi. In the attack, 22-year-old assistant camera person, identified as Taimur, was killed. He was in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
Sources said armed attackers on motorcycles opened fire on the van from behind.
Taimur was initially injured in the attack, however, he later succumbed to his injuries. According to MLO Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, one bullet hit Taimur's neck.
Days before the attack, TTP splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar released a video threatening journalists. Following the release of the video, various journalist groups announced protests across the country. A rally was also planned outside the National Press Club, Islamabad.
Reacting to the incident, the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said the killing of the assistant cameraman was a sad incident. "Share the grief of Media, SAMAA and Taimoor's family," ISPR Direcot-General Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
(With IANS inputs)