Pakistani journalist kidnapped in tribal badland

MIRANSHAH (AFP) - Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist from one of Pakistan's tribal areas on the Afghan border, where Taliban militants are active, relatives.

Mr Lal Wazir, 38, who works for a local newspaper in the South Waziristan town of Azam Warsak was taken from a shop by six masked gunmen on Thursday, his uncle Ibrahim Wazir told AFP on Friday.

"Nobody has claimed responsibility or contacted the family," Mr Wazir said, adding that his nephew had just returned from a trip to Islamabad.

Local tribal government officials confirmed the kidnapping.

Mr Lal Wazir also works for an Islamabad-based think tank specialising in tribal affairs, the FATA Reasearch Centre.

Officials from the centre said they would not comment as the official authorised to speak to the press had gone out of the country.

The tribal areas are a haven for Islamist militants and according to the press campaign group Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan was the third deadliest country for journalists last year, behind Syria and Somalia.

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