Suicide Bomber in Pakistan Kills 3 at Peshawar Press Club

Pakistani officials say three people have been killed and 17 others wounded in a suicide bombing outside a press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Authorities say a policeman stopped the bomber at the gate of the press club Tuesday and tried to search him, at which point the bomber detonated his explosives.  The blast killed the officer, a press club accountant and a woman.

The attack was the first against a media institution in Peshawar, which has experienced frequent bombings in recent months.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders condemned the attack.  The group said in a statement that threats against the Pakistani media are "nothing new" but that it is "outrageous" that this press freedom sanctuary should be targeted in this fashion.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Pakistan as the fourth deadliest country in the world for journalists this year, behind the Philippines, Somalia and Iraq.

The CPJ said in a statement Tuesday that a police officer was recently stationed outside the Peshawar press club  building, following threats from militant and insurgent groups.

Militants are carrying out attacks across Pakistan in retaliation for the army offensive against Taliban strongholds in the country's northwest.

Pakistan's army said Tuesday that troops killed four suspected terrorists and wounded two others in the latest fighting in the South Waziristan Taliban stronghold.

Also Tuesday, an appeals court in Lahore suspended a prison sentence given to Interior Minister Rehman Malik in 2004. The case is one of some 8,000 corruption cases that were revived by the Supreme Court last week when it threw out a nationwide amnesty created by former President Pervez Musharraf in 2007. 

Tuesday's ruling by the Lahore court will allow Malik to avoid arrest until judges begin hearings in his case early next year. Malik insists he was falsely accused.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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