Motorbike gunmen murder journalist in southwest Pakistan

AFP, QUETTA, Pakistan

Sun, Mar 03, 2013 - Page 4

Unidentified gunmen on Friday shot dead a local journalist in southwest Pakistan’s insurgency-hit province of Baluchistan, officials said.

Mahmood Afridi, 38, was killed in Qalat District, 160km south of the provincial capital, Quetta, local administration chief Akbar Harifal told reporters.

“Gunmen riding on a motorbike opened fire on Afridi, who was passing through the main bazaar of Qalat, and fled. Afridi died on the spot,” Harifal said. “We have launched an investigation to determine if the motive was rivalry or a targeted attack.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the murder.

Baluchistan has been hit by sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, Islamist militancy and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

Afridi is the second journalist killed in Pakistan this week.

On Wednesday unidentified attackers shot dead senior local journalist Malik Mumtaz in North Waziristan near the Afghan border.