Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taliban killed Afghan Journalist in Pakistan

Gunmen shot dead an AfText Colorghan journalist known as an outspoken critic of the Taliban as he travelled by bus through Pakistan's Khyber Pass on Monday, a Pakistani government official said.
Janullah Hashimzada was bureau chief in Pakistan for Afghanistan's Shamshad television channel and was travelling from Afghanistan when he was attacked.
"The attackers in a Toyota Corolla car intercepted the bus and made it stop and then they went inside and shot him dead," Rehan Khattak, a government official in Jamrud, the main town in the Khyber region, told Reuters.
One passenger was wounded, he said.
Khattak declined to say who might have been behind the attack.
Journalists in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province where Hashimzada was based, said he had been a vocal critic of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.
"This was purely a targeted killing," Shamim Shahid, president of the Peshawar Press Club, told the vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI). "(He) was very critical of the Taliban, and some of his reporting was unacceptable both to Pakistani and Afghan governments and intelligence agencies.
"He had too much information regarding the militants, the Taliban and the intelligence agencies."
Violence has increased in Khyber over the past year with Pakistani Taliban launching attacks in an attempt to cut off supplies bound for Western forces in Afghanistan.
Kidnap and smuggling gangs also operate in the region, some of whose members also pose as Islamist militants. (Reporting by Ibrahim Shinwari; Writing by Kamran Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and Ralph Boulton)

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