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Explosives found under car of prominent Pakistani journalist

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 26 Nov 2012 12:53 GMT
Author: Reuters
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ISLAMABAD, Nov 26 (Reuters) - A bomb was found on Monday under the car of a prominent Pakistani journalist who the Taliban had threatened over his coverage of a schoolgirl the militants shot, his employer said.

A half-kilogram (1 lb) of explosives was found under the vehicle of the senior journalist for the Geo News television station, Hamid Mir, while parked at his home in the capital, Islamabad. A bomb disposal squad defused the bomb.

"I was told a few days ago that my name was mentioned in a letter written to the Interior Ministry and in that, there was a threat," Mir told reporters.

The government had offered a reward of 50 million rupees(${esc.dollar}500,000) for information on those responsible for the bomb, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters.

Pakistan's Taliban had threatened to attack Mir and other journalists for their coverage of their shooting of teenager Malala Yousufzai in October.

Yousufzai has become prominent because of her campaigning in support of education for girls in her home district in northwest Pakistan's Swat Valley.

She is recovering in a hospital in Britain.

Her shooting was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the girl against one of Pakistan's most ruthless Taliban commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

Fazlullah and his men had taken over the Swat Valley and blown up girls' schools and publicly executed those they deemed immoral. An army offensive in Swat forced many Taliban fighters to flee.

Pakistan is one of the world's most dangerous countries for jounalists, according to press freedom groups.

(Editing by Robert Birsel)

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