Gunmen Kill VOA Reporter in Pakistan

Posted January 17th, 2012 at 10:40 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Gunmen in northwest Pakistan have shot and killed a reporter working for the Voice of America.

Mukarram Khan Aatif, who filed reports for VOA's Deewa Radio, was attacked Tuesday at a mosque near his home in Shabqadar. The town is located roughly 35 kilometers from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Local police say two assailants on motorcycles arrived at the mosque during evening prayers. One of the men entered the mosque and shot Aatif in the head before fleeing.

Aatif was hospitalized in critical condition, before succumbing to his injuries.

Friends of the journalist, who was in his 40's, tell VOA that Aatif had received threats from militants in the past. He and his family had been forced to move to Shabqadar from their home in Mohmand agency due to the threats.

Aatif also worked for the private Pakistani Dunya TV.

Media right activists in Pakistan are condemning Aatif's killing and criticizing the government for not doing enough to protect journalists.

Reporters Without Borders named Pakistan as the deadliest country for journalists for two years in a row, with 10 killed in the country in 2011.