Landikotal: Tribal Journalist Khalil Jibran Shot Dead

LANIOKOTAL, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 19 June 2024: Gunmen shot dead Tuesday – 18 June 2024 – senior tribal journalist Khalil Jibran near his home here, District Police Officer Salim Abbas and local journalists confirmed on Wednesday – 19 June 2024.

Khalil Jibran was started journalist after 9/11 attacks in the United States covering militancy for his Pashto-language Khyber News channel and other newspapers from Landikotal town in Khyber tribal district bordering Peshawar and Afghanistan.

“The attackers have come in a car and targeted the journalist near his home.” Abbas said after initial investigation into the journalist’s murder. “The attackers fled the scene after the attack.”

Journalism and its practitioners have come under renewed threats from all sides with militancy regaining foothold in the strategically located Khyber district.

Journalist Wali Khan Shinwari, like many others, “is working under increased threats” since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan providing Pakistani Taliban with “safe heavens” as Islamabad alleges.

The threats are coming from “both state and non-state actors,” Wali Khan says.

Late Jibran leaves four children – all under 15 – and a widow to mourn his death. He had serbed Landikotal Press Club as president.  

He was laid to rest Wednesday morning after a postmortem at a government hospital. The report is still awaited.

Late Jibran is the fourth journalist killed this year in Pakistan and is the second tribal journalist after Kamran Dawar to be shot dead almost in similar fashion in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Khyber district was the hotbed of militancy linked to Pakistani Taliban after 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States and journalists were caught in crossfire with many leaving for safer places in other parts of the province to stay safe.

Freedom Network is releasing a special report on state of press freedom and safety of journalists in merged tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Peshawar on 26 June.

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