Ijaz Mengal was shot dead when returning from a market by unidentified men on motorcycles near the Chamrok Hotel in Khuzdar, in the restive Baluchistan province. Mengal, who worked as a stringer for the Daily Intekhab newspaper and for Daily Khabardar, also served as a clerk at the education ministry.
Mengal covered politics and militant activity in the area, according to a local journalist familiar with Mengal's case. The journalist said Mengal could have been killed because of his own work or because of the work of his brother, Daily Intekhab reporter Riaz Mengal, who was forced into exile in 2007 following death threats.
Riaz Mengal also told CPJ that his own journalistic activities could have been a reason for the separatist group's decision to target his brother.
An individual who identified himself as Goharm Baloch from the Baloch National Army separatist group claimed responsibility for Mengal's death, accusing the journalist of acting as a spy for intelligence agencies, news reports said.
Journalists in Baluchistan work in a dangerous climate, under pressure to report in line with the views of several elements, including pro-Taliban groups, security forces, and intelligence agencies, as well as Baluch separatists and state-sponsored anti-separatist militant groups.