Pakistan minister: Evidence suggests shot reporter was targeted in Kenya

Pakistani journalist killed in police shooting in Kenya

By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Pakistan's interior minister said on Tuesday evidence suggested a prominent Pakistani journalist was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya, not an accidental shooting, though he still needed more information on the incident.

Kenyan police spokesman Bruno Shioso declined to respond to the minister's comments on the death of TV journalist Arshad Sharif, who was shot dead on the evening of Oct. 23 on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

A police report a day after the shooting said police officers hunting car thieves opened fire on the vehicle that Sharif was travelling in as it drove through their roadblock without stopping.

Shioso said the case was now being investigated by the police watchdog, the state Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).

A spokesperson at the IPOA did not immediately respond to calls and a message seeking comment.

Pakistan's Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah, told journalists on Tuesday: "Arshad Sharif's death is not a case of mistaken identity - I can say, and, on the evidence we have so far, this prima facie is a target killing."

"We still need to obtain more (evidence) to confirm all this ... and we have asked the Kenyan government for more data," he added.

Pakistan's government formed an investigation team to look into the matter, which caused uproar in the country.

Sanaullah said the team had returned from Kenya, but Kenyan police had not yet given Pakistani investigators all of Sharif's recovered belongings.

"We will now ask the foreign office to contact the Kenyan government, and the prime minister will also speak to the Kenyan president," the minister said.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo in Nairobi; Writing by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Andrew Heavens)