Journalist among eight killed in Pakistan
Islamabad, Jan 14 – A journalist of a private television channel was shot dead by a group of unidentified assailants in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, where at least seven others were also killed in different incidents of target killing, police said.
Wali Khan Babar, 29, who was working with the Geo News, was attacked near Liaquatabad Dakkhana bus stop Thursday evening when he was going home in his car, the DawnNews reported Friday quoting a senior police officer.
‘Initial investigation suggests that Babar was stuck in a traffic jam when a man stopped in front of his car. The man pulled out a pistol and fired several shots at Babar before returning to his associate waiting across the road on a motorbike to disappear from the scene in a flash,’ said Deputy Inspector General of Police (West) Sultan Khawaja.
The police found five empty cases of .9mm bullets from the scene. Babar received bullets on his forehead, face and neck.
The official ruled out mugging attempt as motive behind the firing, saying ‘it appeared to be a premeditated murder’.
The Pakistani daily said at least seven people were killed and 12 injured Thursday in a spate of violence that broke out in the city after a senior leader of the Awami National Party was attacked.
According to police and party sources, two gunmen on a bike sprayed bullets on the car of Bashir Jan, Sindh ANP’s information secretary. He suffered a bullet injury in the hand, while his two guards were shot in the legs and abdomen. They were rushed to a hospital.
The incident sparked violence in many parts of the city.
In a separate incident, four men were killed when a group of people came under an armed attack in Qasba area, while three others were killed in Liaquatabad and Orangi Town.
An official at the Sindh police surgeon office said that five bodies with gunshot wounds were brought to Abbassi Shaheed Hospital and Qatar Hospital.
The incident came as a grim reminder of a recent report by a media advocacy group that described Pakistan as the deadliest country for journalists in 2010.
The International News Safety Institute (INSI) recorded that 97 journalists were killed last year in 30 countries, of whom 85 were murdered.
Most of the victims were not foreign correspondents assigned to war zones but reporters working in their own countries, seeking to expose criminality and corruption, British daily the Guardian said citing the INSI report.
The most murderous country in 2010 was Pakistan where 16 journalists were killed in a spate of violence that has continued into the new year.
The first casualty of 2011 was 22-year-old Balochistan reporter, Ilyas Nazar, whose bullet-riddled body was found by a roadside eight days ago.