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.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  pakistan  |  security

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Who won? Let the News24 App notify you!

Not only can you stay up to date with the latest elections news, you can also get notification of results during the results phase with our easy-to-use app.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Century City - 15:10 PM
    Road name: N1 Service Road Outbound
    ACCIDENT between Sable Road and the N7 Interchange - QUEUEING TRAFFIC
  • Thursday Rondebosch - 12:58 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Rosebank and Newlands
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow 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.