Malik Mumtaz was president of the local press club, a senior local journalist for Geo TV, and had reported on the area for more than 20 years.—File Photo

PESHAWAR: A senior local journalist working for a Pakistani newspaper and TV news channel was shot down Wednesday by unknown gunmen in restive North Waziristan agency, family members said.

According to family members, Malik Mumtaz, a correspondent for The News and Geo News, was shot dead Wednesday in his home town of Miranshah in the militancy hit tribal region.

Mumtaz was president of the local press club and had reported on the area for more than 20 years.

Mehboob Afridi, the secretary general of the Tribal Union of Journalists, confirmed the Mumtaz had been shot dead and condemned the killing.

“Mumtaz was traveling towards Chashma bridge when the attackers fired on his vehicle,” said Afridi.

Local media men said Mumtaz may have been killed by militants as he had been receiving threats. However, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) condemned the killing and denied any involvement in the attack.

“He was a good reporter and was serving tribal people, we condemn his killing and salute his services for tribal people,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Mumtaz is survived by his wife, two sons and one daughter.

According to the press campaign group Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan was the third deadliest country for journalists last year, behind Syria and Somalia, with 10 killed in connection with their work.

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