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DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Customs Service press secretary Abdurahim Umarov is being treated in a hospital after being severely beating.

Umarov told RFE/RL that four unknown men attacked him late on February 27 near a market place in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

Umarov, who has been working on a documentary about gasoline smuggling from neighboring Kyrgyzstan, said he received threats several months ago.

Before accepting his job last year as the Customs Service's press secretary, Umarov worked for a number of domestic and international media outlets, including RFE/RL.

The deputy chief of Tajikistan's Customs Service, Nemat Rahmatov, told RFE/RL that a request to investigate the attack against Umarov has been sent to the Interior Ministry.
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan -- Unidentified attackers have shot dead a local journalist in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region.

Malak Mumtaz was killed on February 27 in front of the local press club in Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal area.

Mumtaz worked for the Geo private news television station.

No one has claimed responsibility.

The tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan are a haven for Islamist militants.

But Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, in a telephone call with French news agency AFP, condemned the killing and denied any involvement by the umbrella Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan was the third-deadliest country for journalists last year, behind Syria and Somalia, with 10 killed in connection with their work.

With reporting by AFP and AP

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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