Hours after a bomb was discovered underneath his car, a high-profile Pakistani news anchor who covered the Taliban shooting of a 15-year-old girl said he refuses to be silenced by threats.
Hamid Mir, an anchor and commentator for Pakistan's Geo News, was shopping at a market when someone placed a small bag under his car, according to Geo. After a witness spotted the bag, a bomb disposal unit was called in and officials discovered a tin containing a half a kilogram of explosives with a detonator and ball bearings. The bomb was defused on site.
No group has publicly claimed responsibility for the plot and Pakistani officials said an investigation is under way. In recent weeks the Pakistani Taliban has criticized both local and international journalist for their coverage of the Malala Yousufzai shooting and has threatened violent reprisals.
The assassination attempt "is a message to me as well as Geo and the journalist community in Pakistan," Mir said, according to Pakistan's The News. "They want to stop us from speaking the truth, but I want to tell them that we will not be deterred."
Malala, a 15-year-old Pakistani girl, was shot in the head in mid-October by Taliban gunmen because she spoke out for girls' education. She survived the attack and is recovering. Coverage of the shooting sparked widespread anti-Taliban protests and condemnation at home and abroad.
The Pakistani Taliban defended the shooting, vowed to attempt to kill the teenager again and later turned their threats on journalists covering the case.
"Pakistan is the most dangerous country for media but today Pakistanis proved they are the most brave nation nobody can break out nerves [sic]," Mir wrote on Twitter hours after the attempt on his life.