Voice of America journalist shot dead in Pakistan

Mukarram Khan Atif was attacked at a mosque near his home at Shabqadar town, 35 km from Peshawar.

Islamabad: A journalist working for the Voice
of America was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in northwest
Pakistan Tuesday, police said.

Mukarram Khan Atif was attacked at a mosque near his home
at Shabqadar town, 35 km from Peshawar, the capital of
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Two gunmen on motorcycles arrived at the mosque during
evening prayers.

One of them entered the mosque and shot Atif in the head
before fleeing, police said.

Atif was taken to a nearby hospital in a critical
condition but succumbed to his injuries.

A prayer leader was injured in the attack.

Besides working for VOA`s Pashto language Deewa Radio,
Atif was a correspondent for Dunya news channel and a former
president of the Mohmand Agency Press Club.

He belonged to Mohmand tribal region.

Atif`s friends told VOA that he had received threats from
militants in the past.

He and his family were forced to move to Shabqadar from
their home in Mohmand Agency due to the threats.

Journalist groups condemned the killing of Atif and urged
the government to take strict action against his killers.

Reporters working for VOA`s Deewa and Mashaal services say
the Pakistani Taliban have publicly threatened them for
working for an American organisation.

Atif`s murder has again raised fears about the safety of
journalists in Pakistan.

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


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