Journalist Jibran Khalil killed in Landi Kotal shooting

Slain journalist’s body was placed on Pak-Afghan Highway as thousands gather to protest the incident

Abuzar Afridi June 19, 2024
Journalist Jibran Khalil. PHOTO: FILE


Jibran Khalil, a renowned journalist belonging to newly-merged tribal districts, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Landi Kotal, Khyber district.

District Police Officer Saleem Abbas stated that the incident occurred in the Mazrina area of Landi Kotal when unknown individuals opened fire, killing Khalil, a former president of the Landi Kotal Press Club.

According to police, Khalil was returning home in a car with Advocate Sajjad when their vehicle broke down. Assailants in another car pulled them out and opened fire, killing Khalil instantly and injuring Sajjad, who was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Police reported that Khalil had received threats from terrorists.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur condemned the murder and instructed police to take immediate action to apprehend those responsible. He expressed condolences to the slain journalist's family, praying for their strength and assuring them that the killers would be brought to justice.

The slain journalist was laid to rest amidst mourning and protests. His body was placed on the Pak-Afghan Highway as thousands gathered to protest the incident. Speeches were made by political leaders and journalists, condemning the attack and demanding severe punishment for the perpetrators. They also called for a government compensation package for the slain journalist's family and support for his orphaned children.

Also read: CPNE concerned over attacks on journalists, press freedom

The attack took place around 9pm on June 18 in Mazrina, where Khalil was ambushed by armed individuals. Local witnesses said Khalil agonised for two hours before police and security forces arrived. On Wednesday morning, his body was placed on the highway in protest, drawing a massive crowd.

The Tribal Union of Journalists' president Qazi Fazlullah and other prominent figures addressed the gathering, highlighting Khalil's contributions and criticising the security forces for failing to maintain order. They called for local citizens to arm themselves for protection, citing repeated threats to journalists.

A nationwide protest by the journalist community was announced for Thursday, with planned demonstrations in Khyber on Friday and Saturday. Speakers emphasised the urgent need for a strong national unity to ensure safety and prevent further violence. They also highlighted the region's mineral wealth and warned against any conspiracies to seize it.

In conclusion, the speakers demanded a comprehensive security plan for journalists, a compensation package for Khalil’s family, and education for his children. After his funeral, journalists laid wreaths on his grave and offered prayers.


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