August 29, 2008, in Swat, Pakistan

A Pakistani airstrike hit the lockup where Shaheen was being held by a local Taliban group in the Swat Valley in Pakistan's tumultuous North West Frontier Province, according to local news reports citing a Taliban spokesman. The spokesman, Muslim Khan, said Shaheen was among at least 25 people killed in the strike, according to the Daily Times newspaper.

The precise location of the Taliban hideout was not reported.

Militants abducted Shaheen, who worked for the local Urdu-language daily Azadi and sometimes filed for other papers, on August 27, according to local news reports. A local press freedom group, the Pakistan Press Foundation, said the Taliban had been angered by reports Shaheen had written about their activities.

Owais Aslam Ali, the press foundation's secretary-general, told CPJ that local journalists contacted by his organization believed the Taliban abducted the journalist because of his work.

Shaheen's car was set on fire a week before he was abducted, although it was not clear whether the Taliban were responsible for that attack, the group reported. It said the journalist was kidnapped from the Peuchar area of the Matta Tehsil subdivision of Swat.

Pakistan's army launched a major offensive in Swat in November 2007 to target pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah, known as the "Radio Mullah" for his use of unlicensed radio frequencies to broadcast speeches advocating Islamic law and calling on his followers to attack security personnel, according to published reports. He is believed to be at large, news reports said.

Job:Print Reporter
Beats Covered:Politics, War
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Crossfire/Combat-Related
Suspected Source of Fire:Military Officials


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