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Japanese and Afghan journalists shot, wounded in Pakistan

(PPF/IFEX) - A Japanese journalist and his Afghan colleague were shot and wounded on 14 November 2008 in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Motoki Yotsukura, the Islamabad bureau chief for Japan's "Asahi Shimbun" newspaper, and Afghan journalist Sami Yousufzai, a correspondent for "Newsweek" magazine, were attacked by three gunmen in the Peshawar neighbourhood of Hayatabad, near the Khyber tribal agency.

According to press reports, the journalists were returning to Peshawar from the Khyber tribal agency after interviewing militants when armed gunmen stopped their car and put a gun to Yousufzai's head in an apparent attempt to kidnap them. When Yousufzai pushed one of the gunmen away, he began shooting.

Yotsukura was hit in the right knee, while Yousufzai sustained injuries in the chest, arm and hand. Press reports quoting Yousufzai said the gunmen spoke with an Afghan accent. The assailants fled in the direction of the Khyber tribal agency.

Yotsukura received medical assistance at a local hospital and was taken to Islamabad for further treatment. Yousufzai was admitted to a hospital in Peshawar and is said to be in serious, though not life threatening, condition.

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