Pakistan: suspected killers of journalists arrested

Police arrest suspected killers of three Pakistani journalists shot dead in Baluchistan province last year

Pakistan: suspected killers of journalists arrested

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan's police have arrested the suspected killers of three Pakistani journalists who were shot dead in the southwestern city of Quetta last year. 

The police presented the two suspects to reporters on Tuesday, claiming they were responsible for the attack on the Quetta office of a local news wire service. 

Mir Safraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, claimed the suspects were part of the Baluchistan Liberation Army, an armed separatist group. 

One of the killed journalists, Irshad Mastoi, had contributed to Anadolu Agency's reporting from the province. 

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists with around 100 killed since 2000, many of them in Baluchistan where separatist rebels have complained about media coverage of the conflict. 

The large province, which covers parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan, is strategically important because of mineral wealth that includes copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.

It has been beset by violence for over six decades, with separatists claiming it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan at the end of British rule in 1947.

The province, especially its capital Quetta, has also suffered from sectarian violence that has killed more than 2,000 people, mostly Shia Muslims, in the last ten years.

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