Pakistan Taliban admit killing reporter MK Atif
- 18 January 2012
- From the section Asia
The Taliban in Pakistan have said they killed a journalist while he was praying in a mosque near the city of Peshawar on Tuesday.
Mukarram Khan Atif - who worked for the Voice of America broadcasting service - was shot in the head by attackers on a motorcycle who fled from the scene.
His death has been condemned by his employers and by campaigning groups.
The Reporters Without Borders campaign group say Pakistan was the deadliest country for journalists in 2011.
Last year, 10 journalists were killed there as a result of their work, the group says.
Mr Atif - who was based in the Mohmand tribal region - was reported to be among several reporters in the area who had been receiving threats because of his work.
A bystander who was with him at the time of the attack was seriously injured.
Mr Atif was buried on Wednesday in his home town of Shabqadar.
A spokesman for the militants told the BBC that he was shot dead for not conveying the Taliban's point of view.
The spokesman said that he had been warned many times before for not telling their side of the story.
The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says that the Taliban had warned of dire consequences in recent propaganda statements and videos.
The militants said that they would attack facilities and employees of media organisations if they did not refrain from what they called "malicious propaganda".
Our correspondent says that it is the first time that the militants have accepted responsibility for such a killing.
Mr Atif, 40, complained that he had received threats from militants in Mohmand several months ago and had moved away from there to the nearby town of Charsadda.
In a statement, Voice of America (VOA) said that he had been working for its Deewa Radio service since 2006.
"Mr Atif risked his life on a daily basis to provide his audience with fair and balanced news from this critical region and we mourn the loss of our colleague," VOA Director David Ensor said.
It said that the murdered reporter also worked for local TV stations in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area, a region where Taliban and al-Qaeda militants are active.