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Pakistan: Police investigate TV journalist's murder in south

ultimo aggiornamento: 14 gennaio, ore 14:30
Police are probing Pakistani television reporter Wali Khan Babar's murder late on Thursday in the southern port city of Karachi.


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Karachi, 14 Jan. (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Police are probing Pakistani television reporter Wali Khan Babar's murder late on Thursday in Karachi. It was the latest in a wave of targeted killings that have left 22 people dead in the southern port city in recent days.

Babar, who worked for private television channel Geo News, had been reporting on a police operation against suspected mafia drugs barons in Karachi's Pehalwan Goth, a Pushtun slum, shortly before he was shot dead in the city's Liaquatabad area.

Babar's killers appear to have tailed his car all the way from his office to Liaquatabat, before spraying the vehicle with a hail of bullets. He was the first reporter to die in Pakistan in 2011.

“This is the second case of its kind when a reporter finished his live coverage and he was chased and killed,” the former secretary general of Pakistan's Federal Union of Journalists, Mazhar Abbas, told Adnkronos International (AKI).

“The first reporter was Musa Khan Khel in 2009, who covered the Taliban and was assassinated while returning from work," Abbas said.

"Wali Khan Babar did live coverage of the police operation in Pehalwan Goth in Karachi against the drug mafia.

"After extensive coverage of the event he went to his office and while he was going back to his home, he was chased and cold bloodedly murdered,” Mazhar Abbas maintained.

Sindh governor Ishrat ul Ebad Khan and Pakistan's Committee to Protect Journalists have deplored Babar's killing. Khan has ordered an official investigation of the murder of the 29-year-old reporter.

Babar came from the Zhoab district of Pakistan's western Balochistan province. A Pushtun, he was often assigned to cover areas populated by the local Pushtun population.

Police officer Rafiq Gul was quoted as saying on Friday the Karachi slayings were ”targeted killings”, the phrase used by authorities to describe political or ethnically motivated murders. He did not elaborate further.

Karachi, a sprawling city of about 18 million people, has a long history of political, ethnic and religious strife.

Last year bouts of violence claimed the lives of scores of people, weakening the government as well as Pakistan's ailing economy.


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