Missing Pakistani journalist found dead

10:52, June 01, 2011      

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A prominent Pakistani journalist, who went missing in Islamabad two days ago, was found dead on Tuesday in Punjab province, police said.

Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online, went missing in the early evening on May 29 while heading to the office of a local TV to record a program.

Shahzad, who is also the author of Inside al-Qaida and the Taliban: Beyond bin Laden and 9/11, reported in an article that members of al-Qaida conducted the May 22 attack on PNS Mehran naval air station in Karachi.

The article alleges the attack was mainly in response to an internal clampdown on al-Qaida affiliates within the Pakistan navy, following failed talks between the navy and al-Qaida over the release of naval officials arrested on suspicion of links to the militant group.

He reported that several weeks ago, naval intelligence traced an al-Qaida cell operating inside several navy bases in Karachi, the country's largest city and key port.

Earlier the Islamabad police informed his family that Saleem Shehzad's car has been found near Sarai Alamgir town in Punjab. A dead body had also been found at some distance and a relative was taken to the site who recognized the body.

Police said that there are signs of torture on his body and it seems that he was tortured to death.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had appealed to the government to order its security and police agencies to respond immediately to find the senior journalist.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident and family said he has no personal enmity with anyone. The Slain journalist had been shifted from Karachi to Islamabad for work some two years ago, his family said. He had been reporting on militants groups, including Taliban and al-Qaida.

Source: Xinhua
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