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Pakistan 11 February 2008

Journalist murdered in Balochistan

Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the murder of Chishti Mujahid, photographer and reporter for the Urdu-language weekly Akhbar-e-Jehan, in Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Balochistan on 9 February, and called on local officials to punish those responsible.

”The killing of this respected journalist in a region bloodied by fighting between the army and separatists is deplorable”, it said. “The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA)’s claim of responsibility raises fears of a more aggressive attitude towards the media by separatist groups.”

Mujahid was shot in the head and neck as he was getting into his car with his wife to go to work. The gunman fled with his accomplice and police took an hour and a half to get to the scene.

Mujahid had written “Quetta Ki Diary” in the paper for the past few years and was also an eye doctor. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) also condemned the murder, noting that he was the first journalist killed this year after six were murdered last year.

The BLA immediately claimed responsibility, saying it was in revenge for an article about the army killing last 21 November of one of its leaders, Mir Balach Marri. The article did not criticise him but the headline on it was strongly worded.




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