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Journalist receives death threat

(PPF/IFEX) - A leader of an Islamic militant organisation, Lashkar-i-Islam, in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), issued a death threat to a local journalist on 22 May 2007.

Mangal Bagh declared that Nasrullah Afridi, a correspondent with "Daily Mashriq" and "The News", was to be "killed with missiles", and announced that selling copies of "Mashriq" was banned in Bara, the main town of Khyber Agency. The threat, which was broadcast on the pirate radio station run by Bagh, accused Afridi of giving undue coverage to his opponents and of accepting bribes from them.

According to press reports, the reason for the threat was a news story by Afridi in which it was written that authorities suspected that Lashkar-e-Islami was behind an attack on a vehicle in which a paramilitary soldier was injured.

Afridi has had to leave the area and move to Islamabad for safety. In a separate case, he also received threats in June 2006 and was forced to move to Peshawar at that time.

Afridi has complained of the local administration's failure to provide for his security, despite repeated requests.

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