Militants kill journalist in Pakistani mosque

AP News
Posted: Jan 17, 2012 12:30 PM
Militants kill journalist in Pakistani mosque

Islamist militants on Tuesday killed a Pakistan journalist who was working for an American government funded broadcasting service, according to police, a militant spokesman and a colleague.

Mukarram Khan Atif was shot in the head while praying in a mosque close to the city of Peshawar, said police officer Jahan Zada Khan.

According to his profile on LinkedIn, Atif was a reporter for Voice of America's Pashtu language Deewa radio station and a Pakistani television station. Pashtu is the language spoken in much of northwest Pakistan.

VOA reported the death on its website and said Atif provided stories for the service.

A spokesman for the Taliban called an Associated Press reporter to claim responsibility for the killing.

Insanullah Ihsan of the Taliban said the militants had warned Atif a "number of times to stop anti-Taliban reporting, but he didn't do so. He finally met his fate."

A colleague said Atif, 40, had received threats from militants in the Mohmand tribal region and moved away from there several months ago. The man didn't give his name for security reasons.

Last year, seven journalists were killed in Pakistan, making it the deadliest country for journalists for the second year in a row.