Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Foreigners attacked in Peshawar


Unidentified gunmen have shot and wounded two foreign journalists in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, police say.

One of the men is Afghan, the other Japanese. Reports say the Afghan man works for the US magazine Newsweek.

It is not clear who carried out the shooting on the outskirts of the city.

The Taleban have been blamed for killing a US aid worker and abducting an Iranian diplomat there this week. Both their drivers were killed.


The Afghan journalist has been indentified as Sami Yousufzai, local correspondent for Newsweek magazine, while the Japanese is said to be a correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Mr Yousufzai is said to have been seriously wounded but reports say he is expected to survive the attack. The Japanese journalist received only slight injuries.

The two men were attacked by gunmen in a car in the Hayatabad suburb of the city, close to the tribal region of Khyber.

"A car chased these journalists and fired at them," police superintendent Abdul Qadir told Reuters news agency.

Hayatabad has recently seen the kidnappings of diplomats from Afghanistan and Iran.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says it is not clear who was behind the latest attack.

Security officials recently told the BBC that a number of militants loyal to Taleban commander Baitullah Mehsud had moved out of one tribal area, Orakzai, into Khyber, which is close to Hayatabad.

They believe these men are behind the latest round of attacks and kidnappings in Peshawar and its adjoining areas.

Militants loyal to Baitullah Mehsud also recently hijacked a convoy of trucks in the Khyber agency.

Spate of attacks

Violence has surged in the north-west in recent months with a wave of attacks blamed on Islamist militants.

The Peshawar area has been hit by a wave of bombings and other attacks recently.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber walked up to the gate of a sports stadium in the city and blew himself up.

A day later a US aid worker and his driver were shot dead. On Thursday an Iranian cultural attache in the city was kidnapped and his driver killed. There is no word on his whereabouts or who seized him.

Gunmen attacked the car of a US diplomat in Peshawar in August, but she was unhurt.

BBC correspondents say the sequence of events has sent a shockwave through Peshawar - just two hours by road from Islamabad - with many people fearing that government efforts to ensure security are collapsing.

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