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Armed men attack Aaj TV office

May 13, 2007

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KARACHI, May 12: Armed men attacked the office of a private television channel and set on fire more than a dozen vehicles in its parking lot here on Saturday.

The Aaj TV was telecasting live footage of youths brandishing guns in front of its offices on the Business Recorder Road and firing on their rivals in the Patel Para neighbourhood. As the telecast continued, the youths turned their guns on the Aaj TV building which also houses the offices of the daily Business Recorder. The firing shattered windowpanes of the building.

“The Aaj TV building came under fire from MQM supporters who wanted the airing of live footage of the unrest in the city stopped,” the network’s chief executive Arshad Zubairi was quoted as saying by AP.

Cameramen and journalists working on the roof of the building had to take cover. However, no one was hurt and the network remained on air uninterrupted.

“We are under attack,” senior journalist Talat Hussain said on air as he took shelter behind a wall. “We have seen no security force. No one has come to help us.”

MQM spokesman Abdul Quddus denied his party’s involvement in the attack. He, however, said that some activists of his party might have taken shelter in the Aaj building after coming under fire from another building.

Journalists held demonstrations in Karachi and other cities in protest against the attack.