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Journalist Saleem Shahzad slain

01 June, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: Renowned journalist Saleem Shahzad was found dead near Mandi Bahauddin on Tuesday despite the promises by unidentified kidnappers, through emails and phone calls, to his family and friends that he was safe and will be released within 24 hours.

Police first found Shahzad’s car near Sarai Alamgir and later recovered his dead body from Rasool Headworks.

Doctors, who performed autopsy, found marks of severe torture on the journalist’s face and abdomen. They said that Shahzad was brutally tortured as a number of his ribs were also broken. “He had bruises on his forehead and in ribs,” said a friend of the dead journalist.

Earlier, Mandi Bahauddin Police insisted on handing over the body to Islamabad Police but the latter claimed that the case should be handled by the former, as the body was recovered from its jurisdiction.

Later, Mandi Bahauddin Police registered a case under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Saleem Shahzad, 40, worked for an Italian news agency and an online news site registered in Hong Kong. He went missing on Sunday after he left his home in Islamabad to take part in a television talk show, but never arrived. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned the killing and ordered an inquiry into the incident. He also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. He assured that the culprits would be brought to book at any cost.

Shahzad had narrowly escaped a murder attempt on August 6, 2010 when he received a bullet in the chest fired by a security guard of the Ninth Club in Islamabad. Shahzad had said it was an attempt to kill him.


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