Bahadarzai, 25, manager of Melma Radio station in Orgun District, went missing on the evening of February 21, his colleague Yagub Manzoor told Pajhwok Afghan News. The journalist was found near his home in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province later that night or early the next morning, news reports citing police said. Several news accounts stated that the body was found decapitated, while Pajhwok reported that the journalist had been stabbed and shot dead.
Police told reporters they were conducting an investigation into whether the journalist's murder was linked to a phone call he received the day he disappeared from unidentified men requesting a meeting, according to Agence France-Presse. Manzoor told local journalists that Bahadarzai had no known personal conflicts and had received no threats from militants.
Taliban militants have previously targeted journalists in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. But Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied responsibility for the murder.