PAKISTAN: TV journalist gunned down in Mardan

Aaj TV correspondent dies after being ambushed and shot at outside his workplace by unknown assailants

Dawn

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

VIENNA --- A television journalist was shot dead as he made his way to work in the latest killing of a reporter in the country, a press freedom group said on Monday.

Aaj TV correspondent Sadiq Bacha Khan, described as a 'bold reporter' by the broadcaster, was shot at least 15 times in an ambush Friday outside his workplace in the town of Mardan, North West Frontier Province.

'We call upon the authorities in Pakistan to transparently investigate the murder of Bacha Khan,' said David Dadge, director of the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI).

Bacha Khan, who had reported from the area for almost two decades, had been assigned to cover the funeral of an army official killed by drug smugglers, a source from the television station said.

But he was sprayed with bullets as he arrived at work and died from his injuries on his way to hospital in the city of Peshawar, the source added.

Six journalists have been killed in the North West Frontier Province in the past two years, the IPI said, branding the region 'one of the world's most dangerous for journalists'.