Photographer killed, three other journalists injured in Pakistan attack

New York, May 3, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of freelance photographer Mehboob Khan, who was killed in an April 28 suicide bomb attack aimed at Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao. The minister escaped with minor injuries, but 28 people died in the attack at a political rally in the small town of Charsadda in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Three other journalists were injured: ATV cameraman Arif Yousafzai; Siddiqullah, a reporter for the Urdu-language paper Subah; and reporter Ayaz Muhammad of the Associated Press of Pakistan.

Khan, a 22-year-old who had recently begun his journalism career, had contributed photos to local and national publications. He was believed to be working at the time.

“The loss of a young photographer who was starting his career as a journalist is deeply saddening,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We also extend our condolences to our colleagues who were injured in this violent attack.”

Follow-up reports say the bomber is believed to have been a teenage male, and that security at the event may have been lax. The federal and provincial governments are jointly investigating the attack, the Daily Times Web site reported on Wednesday.

“We fear we will see more deaths and injuries in Pakistan as the political situation continues to deteriorate. The government must make every effort to protect journalists and the public from such attacks,” Simon said.