Pakistan Blocks 2 Independent News Channels

Pakistan took two news channels off the air Saturday that had been covering attempts by soldiers to capture two militants who broke into army headquarters in an attack on the complex.

Geo and SAMA channels, known for critical reporting of the government, were blocked from broadcasting Saturday evening. Government officials were not available for comment.

A message from Pakistan's media regulatory body appeared on those channels announcing it was temporarily suspending transmission of "independent news TV channels" until further notice. Several other TV news channels also known for their hard-hitting reporting continued to broadcast.

Like other news channels, the stations had been covering an attack early Saturday on the army headquarters compound by Islamist militants. The military said that two attackers had infiltrated the complex and were holed up inside.

Pakistan blocked the channels when then President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November 2007. It also briefly blocked Geo during an anti-government rally earlier this year.

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