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Senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by unknown attackers in Srinagar on Thursday evening. Mr Bukhari, the editor of the ‘Rising Kashmir’ newspaper, was attacked when he was coming out of his office in Press Colony in the city. He was hit by multiple bullets at close range. A security guard on his protection detail was also shot dead while another was injured.

This is the first attack on a journalist in a long time in Kashmir and provoked widespread shock and condemnation.

“It’s a very unfortunate incident. Today at about 7:30 pm when he was coming out of his office and boarding his car, three terrorists came on a motorcycle and opened fire. Two of his PSOs (personal security officers) were also hit and one of them is no more the other is under treatment. They were shot before they could react,” Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid told NDTV.

Shujaat Bukhari was given police protection since an attack on him in 2000. He was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.

The Press Club of India strongly condemned Mr Bukhari’s killing.

“Press Club of India is shocked and saddened by this mindless terror attack that claimed the life of Shujaat Bukhari in the holy month of Ramzan… [it] shows that lives of journalists are not at all safe. Forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley have silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace,” it said in a statement.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed their shock on Twitter.

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