ISLAMABAD – A journalist of a Pakistani newspaper was gunned down in the southwestern province of Balochistan, becoming the second reporter to be murdered in Pakistan this week, a police source said on Saturday.
A spokesman for local police, Nasif Ahmed Kurt, said by telephone that journalist Mehmud Jan Afridi, who worked for the Daily Intejab, was attacked Friday night in the town of Kalat by two armed men riding a motorcycle.
“The journalist was next to a store in the Bus Addah district. The assailants shot four times and hit him in the head, chest and an arm. He died instantly,” the spokesman said.
Kurt added that Afridi, a native of the nearby region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, had moved years ago to Balochistan, where he worked as a part-time reporter and as a teacher at a public institution.
Authorities have not yet discovered what organization was behind the attack, for which none has claimed responsibility.
Several armed and basically separatist groups operating in Balochistan are known for attacking government institutions and for the selective killing of members of non-native ethnicities.
Afridi is the second Pakistani reporter slain in the last four days, after a journalist from the popular Gio TV network was shot and killed Wednesday by gunmen in the tribal region of North Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan.
According to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists, seven reporters lost their lives in Pakistan last year, making it the world’s third-most-dangerous country in which to pursue that profession, after Syria and Somalia.
Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world for reporters in 2010 and 2011, according to the CPJ.