A Canadian journalist abducted this week in Pakistan’s northern tribal region was working on a documentary film for the Al-Jazeera network, media reported Friday.
Beverly Giesbrecht, 52, also known as Khadija Abdul Qahaar, was seized at gunpoint on Tuesday while traveling in the Bannu district of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan.
The daily Globe and Mail, citing Pakistan’s high commission in Ottawa, said the former magazine publisher who runs a website offering Islamic news was on a freelance assignment for the Arab language network when she was taken.
Her visa application was supported by two letters from Al Jazeera, verifying she would be doing freelance work, said the newspaper.
“The letters say … she will be reporting on the new government and the wider political situation, including the war on terrorism” for a documentary, high commission spokesman Mammona Malik told the newspaper.
A gunman ambushed a Japanese reporter and an Afghan colleague Friday, wounding both men and their Pakistani driver in the latest attack on foreigners in‘s volatile northwest region in three days.
Security appears to be crumbling in Peshawar, a city of 2 million where an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped Thursday and an American aid worker was killed Wednesday.
By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer
Motoki Yotsukura, Asahi Shimbun‘s bureau chief, was in a car with Sami Yousufzai, an Afghan who has worked for Western publications including Newsweek, when the assailant opened fire, police said.
“Three armed men intercepted our car, and one of them aimed his pistol at me,” said the Afghan, Sami Yousufzai, from a hospital. “He opened fire when I put up resistance. I got a bullet in my hand.”
Yotsukura was wounded in the leg, police said. The injuries to Yousufzai and the driver also were not life threatening.
Asahi Shimbun reported that Yotsukura, 39, had left earlier Friday from Islamabad on a reporting trip to interview people close to the.
Officers were investigating whether the attack was an attempted assassination or an attempted kidnapping.
Peshawar and the nearby lawless tribal area have seen a rise in attacks on foreigners. A Chinese, an Afghan and a Pole are currently being held after being seized in the region, which is also home to criminal gangs who kidnap for ransom, drug runners and smugglers.