Journalists Killed  |  Pakistan

Waqas Aziz Khan

Express TV

January 17, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan

At least four gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire on an Express TV van, used for live transmissions from the field, which was parked in the North Nazimabad suburb of Karachi, according to news reports and Kamal Siddiqi, editor of the English-language paper The Express Tribune.

The attack killed Khan, a broadcast technician, as well as Mohammad Khalid, the crew's driver, and Ashraf Arain, a security guard, the reports said. A cameraman, identified only as Mehtab, was also injured in the attack, the reports said.

The Express Tribune reported that law enforcement found at least 17 shell casings from 9mm and .32 caliber pistols at the crime scene. These were sent to the police forensic division, the paper reported.

Express Media Group includes The Express Tribune, as well as the Express TV news channel and the Urdu-language newspaper Roznama Express. Siddiqi told CPJ that he could not point to any specific reports that could have led to the attack. The outlets report critically on politics, crime, and international affairs, and have periodically received threats.

Siddiqi told CPJ that Ehsanullah Ehsan, a former spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), contacted the station immediately after the attack and said the group claimed responsibility. Al-Jazeera reported that a spokesman for the TTP, in a statement the same day, accused Express TV and other media outlets of supporting the government in what it called a war against the group.

The attack came shortly after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had ordered law enforcement in Karachi to sweep individuals identified as criminals for their alleged involvement in murder, abductions, and terrorism. A week after the Express killings, he called the effort a "successful, across-the-board operation against criminals and anti-social elements."

"I am 100 percent certain this is a targeted attack," District West police chief Javed Odho told The Express Tribune. He said that an investigation had been launched into the attack.

Media Support Worker: In 2003, CPJ began documenting the deaths of vital media employees such as translators, drivers, fixers, and administrative workers.

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