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Senior Journalist Assaulted With Knives in Pakistan

FILE - Pakistani police officers with riot gear.

A group of unknown assailants in Pakistan have attacked and seriously wounded an investigative journalist in Islamabad.

The attackers on motorcycles intercepted Ahmed Noorani’s car on a busy road, dragged him out and beat him with clubs before fleeing the scene, witnesses and police said.

Doctors reported Noorani was under treatment in a main hospital of the capital city, and they described his condition as “stable.”

Outspoken Noorani works for the English-language newspaper The News.

The attack prompted widespread condemnation from politicians and journalists, who called for the culprits to be swiftly brought to justice.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Friday’s attack comes as personnel associated with newspaper outlets in the southwestern Baluchistan province have come under repeated attack this week, injuring eight people.

Separatist militants recently warned local journalists and media houses that if their statements are not published, they would unleash punitive attacks against them.

Violence against reporters is not uncommon in Pakistan, which rights monitoring groups consider among the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. Militants, criminal gangs and government agencies are blamed for the violence.

About 120 journalists have been killed across the country in the last 15 years.

The latest fatality occurred two weeks ago in the northwestern city of Swabi. A local journalist, Haroon Khan, was gunned down and the extremist Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibly for plotting the attack.