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Shots fired by Swat Valley soldiers kill journalist's sister

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is saddened by the news that the sister of journalist Shireen Zada of Express News TV was killed inside their home in Mingora, in the northwestern Swat Valley, on 5 November 2008 by shots apparently fired by military personnel.

"Three shots fired by soldiers pierced the metal door of my house and my sister was killed on the spot," Zada told a Reporters Without Borders correspondent. Aged 40, the journalist's sister was the mother of three children. The army said it was very sorry for the shooting.

Zada said his home is near the airport, where there is a military base. "There was no curfew in force when my sister was hit by this bullet and there was no shooting going on between militants and the army," said Zada, who was very upset. "I do not understand why my house was deliberately attacked. It may have been a warning to me to stop covering the military operations, especially those directed against the militants."

A resident of the airport area said, on condition of anonymity, that "soldiers often fire shots in the air when they are on the move, in order to keep the militants at a distance, but they kill many innocent people in this way."

This was the second accidental shooting involving the military in the past month in Mingora. Journalist Qari Muhammad Shoaib was killed on 8 November when soldiers opened fire on his car in the mistaken belief that he was a suicide bomber.

For further information on the Shoaib case, see:

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