Senior journalist shot dead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by unknown gunmen
Khalil Jibran, who worked for Khyber News, was targeted while returning home with his friend, Sajjad Advocate.

at 9:57 pm
File pic of senior Pakistani journalist Khalil Jibran

Peshawar, June 19: Senior Pakistani journalist Khalil Jibran was shot dead by unidentified gunmen near his residence in Landi Kotal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on Tuesday evening.

Jibran, who worked for Khyber News, was targeted while returning home with his friend, Sajjad Advocate.

District Police Officer (DPO) Khyber, Salim Abbas, reported that the journalist’s car broke down near his home. At this point, the assailants, riding a motorcycle, surrounded the vehicle, dragged Jibran out, and opened fire, killing him on the spot. Sajjad Advocate sustained injuries in the attack.

The incident took place in the Mazreena area, close to the Landi Kotal Police Station. Jibran’s body was transported to a Landi Kotal hospital for a post-mortem examination.

DPO Abbas mentioned that Jibran, who had previously served as the president of the Landi Kotal Press Club, had received threats from terrorist groups. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Ali Amin Gandapur, has directed authorities to arrest the perpetrators promptly.

The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) condemned the incident and criticized the authorities for failing to protect journalists, who continue to face violence and threats.

Journalists held a protest outside Mohmand Press Club demanding justice for Khalil Jibran, who was brutally murdered yesterday in District Khyber.

In a related incident, last month, journalist Nasrullah Gadani was attacked by motorcycle-riding assailants near Korai Goth in Sindh. Gadani was critically injured and later succumbed to his wounds despite being transferred to a hospital in Karachi for advanced treatment.

Prominent Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir posted on X:

“Six Pakistani journalists have been killed in the first six months of 2024. Muhammad Siddique Mengal(Balochistan) Ishfaq Sial(Punjab), Jam Saghir Ahmad Lar(Punjab) Nasrullah Gadani (Sindh) Kamran Dawar(KPK) and Khalil Jibran( KPK). “

Till now, no group has claimed responsibility for Khalil Jibran’s murder, however, his colleagues say that he had been facing threats from militants and state authorities, and had even survived a grenade attack. “It is possible that from Taliban to the Lashkar-e-Islam, there may be any militant group involved in the killing,” said Khushal Khattak, a human rights activist.

On Wednesday morning, before the funeral prayers, the attendees carried Khalil Jibran’s body and placed it on the Pak-Afghan Highway and blocked the traffic. The protestors demanded that the area should be cleared of all militants that had been seeping in since the Taliban in Afghanistan took over in 2021.

The journalist community, as well as political leaders attended the funeral to pay their respects. Jibran was buried on Wednesday in his native village of Sultan Khel.

According to Farhad Shinwari, a fellow journalist, Khalil Jibran was returning from his native village of Sultan Khel, after attending an event, when he was stopped in the middle in the Mazarina area by some militants. Shinwari said there were three others in the car with him but the militants asked him to come outside alone.

“Afterwards when we spoke to the doctor who drafted the post mortem reported, we were told that he had been shot 19 times, mainly in his head and neck,” said Farhad Shinwari.

Social media was flooded with tributes to Jibran.