Gunmen free journalist in Pakistan

2011-10-13 13:51
Miranshah - Gunmen in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt released a journalist they had held hostage for two months, a local official and residents said on Thursday.

Masked and carrying guns, the kidnappers abducted Rehmatullah Darpakhel on August 11, in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, a known hub of Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants such as the Haqqani network.

"Rehmatullah Darpakhel has been freed and has returned home. He was freed unconditionally," Mohammad Amin, a government official in Miranshah, told AFP.

His release was brokered by tribal elders and on Wednesday Darpakhel was welcomed home by hundreds of tribesmen firing into air, a local tradition in times of celebration, residents said.

In August, the UN human rights commissioner urged Pakistan to investigate a spate of killings and disappearances of journalists, including that of Darpakhel.

A deadly nation

According to press watchdog Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan has been the world’s deadliest country for the media in 2011 with at least eight journalists killed in connection with their work.

Faisal Qureshi, 28, a journalist working for a London-based online news site was murdered last week in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore. Reporter Saleem Shahzad was found dead on May 31 after disappearing in Islamabad.

The US military's then top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said Islamabad may have sanctioned his killing.
Shahzad told Human Rights Watch he had been threatened by intelligence agents.

He wrote about links between rogue navy officials and al-Qaeda shortly after US troops killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

Darpakhel comes from the same village, Dandey Darpakhel, where local officials said a US drone strike on Thursday killed a logistics commander in the Haqqani network and three other militants.

Last month, Mullen called the Haqqani network a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency and accused Pakistan of supporting attacks on US targets in Afghanistan.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  pakistan  |  security publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks want to continue upward curve
Ton-up Giteau defies his own expectations
The game of Heyneke’s life
Kriel braced for titanic Welsh clash
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.