Khyber TV
February 7, 2005, in Wana, Pakistan

Gunmen in the capital of the remote South Waziristan tribal area fatally shot Amir Nowab, also known as Mir Nawab, a freelance cameraman for Associated Press Television News and a reporter for the Frontier Post newspaper, and Allah Noor, who was working for Peshawar-based Khyber TV.

The journalists were on their way back from the town of Sararogha, where they were covering the surrender of suspected tribal militant Baitullah Mehsud.

A car overtook the journalists' bus at around 7:30 p.m. near the town of Wana, and assailants opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles, according to The Associated Press, which quoted Mahmood Shah, chief of security for Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Two other journalists riding in the bus were injured. Anwar Shakir, a stringer for Agence France-Presse, was wounded in the back during the attack, according to news reports. Dilawar Khan, who was working for Al-Jazeera, received minor injuries.

Days later, an unknown group calling itself "Sipah-e-Islam" (Soldiers of Islam) took responsibility for the killings in a letter faxed to newspapers. It accused some journalists of "working for Christians" and of "being used as tools in negative propaganda ... against the Muslim mujahedeen."

Local journalists blamed officials for not doing more at the time of the murders. They said no attempt was made to stop the gunmen's vehicle even though the attack took place in an area under government control. They also said no real investigation into the murders took place.

The Pakistani military launched a major offensive against suspected al-Qaeda fighters in South Waziristan, a semiautonomous tribal region, in early 2004. Access to areas of the fighting is increasingly restricted for all journalists, and threats from militants make reporting conditions very dangerous, local sources say.

Beats Covered:War
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Political Group
Taken Captive:No


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