QUETTA - A gunman opened fire on the offices of a domestic private news agency in Quetta on Thursday, killing three people including two journalists, officials said.
“A gunman entered the offices of the Online news agency and began firing indiscriminately, killing the bureau chief, named Irshad Mastoi, and accountant on the spot,” Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP.
He said the third victim, a reporter, sustained serious injuries and died of his wounds in the hospital.
City police chief Abdul Razaq Cheema also confirmed the incident and casualties.
No group has claimed the attack and the motive remains unclear.
Police said unknown armed man barged into the news agency’s office located at Jinnah Road and opened indiscriminate firing on the people present in there.
The assailant managed to escape from the scene after committing the crime.
Dead bodies of the victims were rushed to Civil Hospital in Quetta. A large number of journalists reached the hospital and chanted full-throated slogans against the cold-blooded murder of journalists.
Irshad Mastoi was also General Secretary of Balochistan Union of Journalists.
Meanwhile, the journalist organisations of the province condemning the attack have demanded the authorities to arrest the culprits as soon as possible.
Police have registered a case against the unknown assailant and started investigation.
Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its annual report released February, with Balochistan a hotspot for violence.
Seven reporters were killed in the line of duty in 2013, the report said, blaming the government’s “unwillingness to administer justice”.
Four of the deaths occurred in Balochistan, which is wracked by a long-running conflict that was revived in 2004, with nationalists seeking to stop what they see as the exploitation of the region’s natural resources and alleged rights abuses.
3 NATO CONTAINERS GUTTED IN MASTUNG
Militants attacked and set ablaze three NATO oil tankers here on Thursday but the drivers and helpers remained safe in the attack.
Senior police official Ameer Hamza told the media persons that four armed miscreants riding two motorcycles opened firing at three oil tankers carrying fuel from Karachi Port for NATO forces in Afghanistan through Balochistan route.
As a result of firing, the NATO tankers caught fire and were gutted completely before the blaze could be extinguished. However, the drivers and helpers of the oil tankers managed to save their lives.
The assailants sped away from the scene after committing the crime.
Heavy contingent of police and FC reached the scene after the attack. No group has yet claimed the responsibility of the attack.
Meanwhile, at least 3 FC personnel sustained injuries during terrorists attack on Gas field at Burnai on Thursday.
According to details, some terrorists attacked on Frontier corps appointed on Gas Field at Burnai. As a result, 3 FC personnel sustained bullet wounds while rest of them made counter attack, following which the assailants ran away from the site.
The injured personnel were shifted to nearby hospital while security of the respective area was beefed up.