Hamid Mir is a senior journalist and anchor who hosts a popular talk show on local TV news channel, Geo News. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani journalist and TV anchor escaped a bid on his life Monday when the bomb disposal squad defused a bomb planted under his car in Islamabad, police and his channel said.

Hamid Mir, a senior Geo TV anchor was returning to his house in the capital and the bomb was apparently planted when he stopped at a market, Geo News reported.

The explosive device in a metal box was found stuck under the front passenger seat of Hamid Mir’s car, city police chief Bani Amin said.

The bomb disposal squad was immediately called, who successfully defused the bomb containing half a kilogram of explosive material, Geo News reported.

“It was in a tin box, there was half a kilo of explosives fitted with detonator,” Amin told Geo News.

Mir was criticised by the Pakistani Taliban last month in the wake of the shooting of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.

Intelligence officials said last month that an intercepted Taliban message suggested suicide bombers had been assigned to attack journalists, with Geo at the top of the list of targets because of their coverage of the Malala attack.

“It’s a message to me as well as Geo and the journalist community in Pakistan,” Mir told the television channel. “They want to stop us from speaking the truth but I want to tell them that we will not be deterred.”

Pakistan is ranked by rights groups and watchdogs as among one of the world most dangerous places for journalists and reporters. Over 90 journalists have been killed in the country since 2000, according to a recent report.

 

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