Afridi, a reporter for Pakistan Television and the local
Mashriq newspaper, was killed when his car blew up in the city of Peshawar,
according to local and international news reports. An explosive device was
detonated remotely shortly after he returned to the vehicle, which was parked
in a densely populated shopping area, news reports said.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists said Afridi, who
was also the president of the Tribal Union of Journalists, had moved to
Peshawar to flee militant groups.
In May 2006, CPJ reported, unidentified assailants had
lobbed two hand grenades at Afridi’s house in Bara, the main town of Khyber
Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Afridi had been the target
of a death threat issued on a pirate radio station run by the Islamic militant
organization Lashkar-e-Islam. The threat came after Afridi reported that the
authorities suspected Lashkar-e-Islam of being responsible for an attack in
which a paramilitary soldier was injured.
The journalist moved to Islamabad after the attack but said
officials there would not heed his complaints of being under threat. He then
moved to the wealthy Hayatabad area of Peshawar. But in mid-2007, grenades were
lobbed at his home there. No one was injured in that attack.
Afridi was a popular, senior figure in the tightly knit
journalist community in the dangerous areas along the Afghan border. Hundreds
of people, including colleagues, political leaders, and tribal elders, attended
his memorial service. No arrests were made in the case.