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Murdered journalist had received death threats over his reporting

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has voiced revulsion at the murder of Noor Ahmed Solangi, a correspondent for the Sindhi-language newspaper "Khabroon" in Kingri, Sindh province.

Ahmed Solangi, 34, died in a hail of nine bullets after he was ambushed by six people on motorbikes armed with Kalashnikovs, who shot him at point blank range as he was distributing newspapers on 17 June 2007.

"We are shocked by the murder of Noor Ahmed Solangi less than three weeks after the killing of Noor Hakim in the tribal areas on 2 June," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

"The deteriorating working conditions and the insecurity facing journalists in the rural areas of the country are extremely worrying. It is crucial that the local authorities find and punish the killers of Noor Ahmed Solangi and that the Pakistani authorities put an end to this lawlessness," the organisation said.

Sindh's rural areas are currently the scene of serious conflict between rival clans.

A friend of the reporter, Khan Muhammad, told Reporters Without Borders, "Solangi had received death threats two days previously, from the Junejo tribe, which was unhappy about his reports." The journalist had written an article contesting allegations by Junejo members that a rival clan had killed some of its members in a recent clash. The journalist asserted that they had been killed by police officers.

The family of the murdered journalist has begun legal proceedings against members of the Junejo clan: Hadu Junejo, Makal, Nazir, Ghulam Haiser, Siddiq and Nural.

A reporter with Sindh TV News, Abdul Khaliq, dismissed the theory that Ahmed Solangi was killed for ethnic reasons. "He was killed because of his profession," the journalist said.

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