Abdul Aziz Shaheen

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A Pakistani airstrike hit the lockup where Shaheen was being held by a local Taliban group in the Swat Valley, 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, 2008, according to local news reports. Owais Aslam Ali, secretary-general of the Pakistan Press Foundation, told CPJ that local journalists 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.

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