Third journalist reported killed in twin blasts in Quetta

Police, emergency workers, and at least three journalists were killed in a bomb blast on January 10, 2012, that occurred 10 minutes after an initial explosion near a billiards hall in Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province, according to news reports and CPJ sources.

Mirza Iqbal Hussain, a photographer for News Network International (NNI), an independent news agency, died at a local hospital from injuries he sustained in the first blast, according to NNI editor Tariq Nadeem and local news reports. Hussain had worked with NNI for four years, Nadeem said. The editor also told CPJ that Hussain’s brother, Mirza Mohammad Hussain, a photographer for Independent News Pakistan, a national news agency, had been injured while covering the blast.

At least two other journalists were killed covering the explosion. Imran Shaikh, a senior cameraman for Samaa TV, was killed in the blast, and Saif ur Rehman, a senior reporter for the outlet, died a few hours later at a hospital from injuries he sustained in the explosion, news reports said.

The billiards hall is in a predominantly Shia area of Quetta. The bombings in Quetta were part of a series of bomb attacks reported across Pakistan that day, news reports said.

The Associated Press reported that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack. Bakar Saddiq, a spokesman for the group, said a suicide bomber carried out the first attack, while the second was a car bomb that had been detonated remotely, the AP said.