PAKISTAN: Afghan journalist shot dead near Khyber Pass

Shamshad television's bureau chief in Pakistan, an outspoken Taliban critic, was killed after unknown assailants waylaid his bus

Monday, August 24, 2009

JAMRUD --- Gunmen shot dead an Afghan journalist known as an outspoken critic of the Taliban as he travelled by bus through Pakistan's Khyber Pass on Monday, a Pakistani government official said.

Janullah Hashimzada was bureau chief in Pakistan for Afghanistan's Shamshad television channel and was travelling from Afghanistan when he was attacked.

'The attackers in a Toyota Corolla car intercepted the bus and made it stop and then they went inside and shot him dead,'

Rehan Khattak, a government official in Jamrud, the main town in the Khyber region, told Reuters.

One passenger was wounded, he said.

Khattak declined to say who might have been behind the attack.

Journalists in Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province where Hashimzada was based, said the journalist was a vocal critic of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

Violence has increased in Khyber over the past year with Pakistani Taliban launching attacks in an attempt to cut off supplies bound for Western forces in Afghanistan.

Kidnap and smuggling gangs also operate in the region, some of whose members also pose as militants.