Islamabad: The Pakistani Taliban Wednesday said they have shot dead a local journalist working for an American radio network in northwest Pakistan.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said it had sent two gunmen Tuesday to shoot Mukarram Khan Atif dead because he broadcast anti-Taliban reports.
The slain journalist was working for the Washington-based Pashto-language Deewa Radio and the local Dunya TV. He had been covering the Taliban and military operations in Mohmand tribal region, Xinhua reported.
Safeerullah Gul, Peshawar bureau chief for Dunya News, said that two gunmen shot the journalist in a mosque in Shabqadar area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Former president of the Tribal Union of Journalists Safdar Dawar said the murder took place against the backdrop of "unprecedented pressure" on the Pakistani media.
Atif was the first journalist to be killed in Pakistan this year. The report, however, did not say when he was killed.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has directed the concerned authorities to apprehend the killers and bring them to justice, his office said in a statement.