Protests have intensified in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province over the brutal killing of senior journalist Khalil Jibran in the Landi Kotal area.

Jibran’s vehicle was ambushed by armed men on Wednesday when he was returning from a dinner party in the Mazreena locality of Sultan Khel with friends, including a local lawyer. Two gunmen dragged Jibran out of the car and opened fire, killing him on the spot, while the other occupants were spared.

Doctors at the District Headquarters Hospital in Landi Kotal said Jibran’s body bore 19 bullet wounds, and his arm was fractured, suggesting a physical scuffle with the attackers. The lawyer, Sajjad Khan, sustained a bullet wound to his hand.

Outraged residents and local journalists staged a protest demonstration in the morning before Jibran’s funeral. They blocked the main highway leading to the Torkham border, accusing law enforcement agencies of failing to launch a timely search operation despite information about the presence of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan terrorists in the area.

The protesters issued a three-day ultimatum for the arrest of the perpetrators and demanded financial assistance of Rs 10 million for Jibran’s family and free education for his children.

Journalist organizations and press clubs across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also condemned the brutal murder and staged separate protests, demanding justice and an end to violence against media professionals.

Another protest demonstration is planned for Friday afternoon at Bab-i-Khyber in Jamrud. Last month, another journalist, Nasrullah Gadani of a Sindhi newspaper, was attacked by unknown motorcycle-riding assailants near Korai Goth. He later succumbed to his injuries.

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