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Journalist working for U.S. radio killed in Pakistan

(Xinhua)

09:35, January 18, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Pakistani journalist working for a U.S. radio was shot dead Tuesday evening in the country's northwestern region, police said.

Mukararm Khan Atif was offering evening prayers when unidentified gunmen sneaked into the mosque and sprayed bullet at him in Charsadda district, police said, adding Atif died in hospital after being sent there.

Atif was working for the Pashto-language American Diva radio in the area. He was also associated with a local TV channel and had been covering events in the nearby Mohmand tribal region.

Two armed motorcyclists fled after the incident, witnesses said.

No group claimed responsibility for the incident.

Police said they are investigating motives behind the incident. Police sources claimed that it may be a targeted attack.

Prayer leader of the mosque, Maulvi Nasruminallah, was also injured in the attack and was sent to hospital.

Media organizations condemned murder of the journalist and said certain elements cannot tolerate free press. They demanded the government to immediately arrest those behind the murder.

Atif's murder has again raised fear about the safety of journalist in Pakistan, one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

Media groups said that 12 journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2011.

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