With yet another journalist killed in a targeted attack in Pakistan, South Asian media groups have called on authorities to work toward more safety and freedom for the press.

“The death of Nasrullah Afridi from the northwestern Khyber Agency, who was on the hit list of feared militant leader Mangal Bagh, is yet another example of the insecurity [which the] journalists in Pakistan are faced with,” said Imtiaz Alam, secretary general of the South Asian Free Media Association, in a joint statement with South Asia Media Commission president Kumar Ketkar and secretary-general Najam Sethi.

Mr. Afridi was killed when a remote-controlled bomb planted in his car went off. His death is the third in the line of duty from the region this year. At least 15 journalists have died in targeted killings in Pakistan since 2002.

“Threats to the safety of journalists, especially those working in the conflict areas, are mounting. The authorities should work towards ensuring that the journalists work in a safe environment and do not become a victim of anti-media attacks,” said the joint statement.

“The institutions the journalists work for, too, should train and equip them well for working in a conflict zone and have their life insured.”

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