Last Updated: Wed Jan 18, 2012 09:31 am (KSA) 06:31 am (GMT)

Taliban claims killing of Pakistani journalist working for U.S. media

Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Mukarram Khan as he prayed at a mosque in Shabqadar town which is close to Peshawar. (File photo)
Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Mukarram Khan as he prayed at a mosque in Shabqadar town which is close to Peshawar. (File photo)

Pakistan’s umbrella Taliban faction, in a phone call with Al Arabiya, claimed responsibility for the Tuesday killing of a Pakistani journalist working for the Voice of America’s Pashto-language radio service.

Witnesses said that gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Mukarram Khan, a 43-year-old who also worked for the Dunya local TV, as he prayed at a mosque in Shabqadar town which is close to Peshawar, northwest of the country. The imam of the mosque was also injured in the shooting, but his condition is stable.

Pakistani paramedics examine the body of a local journalist killed in an attack, at a hospital in Peshawar on January 17, 2012. (AFP)

Taliban spokesman Ihsanallah Ihsan told Al Arabiya that the group had warned Khan more than once that his press coverage were biased. He warned that there are a number of journalists who are on their assassination list.

Residents of the neighborhood, where the shooting took place, said that the mosque, in which Khan was killed, was still under construction and that Khan himself was financing the building.

According to press watchdog Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan was the deadliest country for the media in 2011 with at least eight journalists killed in connection with their work.

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