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Journalist Sadaf Naeem is crushed to death by a truck during a political march led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan

A female journalist was beaten to death in Pakistan while covering a political march led by former prime minister Imran Khan, a senior police officer said.

Sadaf Naeem, 36, a television journalist for Channel 5 in Lahore, died on Sunday after it slipped from a container ship carrying Khan, said Salman Zafar, an assistant governor in Kamuk, one of the towns on the march’s route.

Journalist Kazafi Butt, who witnessed the incident, told Reuters that Naim lost her balance when she tried to climb onto Khan’s truck to interview him, and the truck’s wheel ran over her head.

Sadaf Naim


On the third day of the march, Khan’s convoy made its way through Punjab province towards Islamabad. Demonstrators challenged Khan’s successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and his government, demanding early elections. It was a common practice for Khan’s convoy team to invite several reporters at once on top of the truck to talk to Khan.

“Shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific accident that killed Channel 5 reporter Sadaf Naim during our march today.” Khan said on Twitter. “I have no words to express my sadness. My prayers and condolences to the family at this tragic time. We have canceled our march for today.”

Sharif also expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased Naeem, announcing a donation of around $20,000 to her relatives.

“Deeply saddened by the death of reporter Sadaf Naeem after falling from a shipping container”, Sharif said on Twitter. “I cannot grieve because of this tragic event. Sincere condolences to the family. Sadaf Naeem was a dynamic and hardworking reporter. We pray for patience for the family of the deceased.”

Naim was the breadwinner of her family and worked as a journalist for 12 years. Pakistani officials say they will cover the living and educational expenses of her two children, 17 and 21.

Journalist Mazhar Abbas called the accident a “tragedy” and asked Channel 5 to “take care of her family because she died in the line of duty.”

About 10,000 of Khan’s supporters, many in hundreds of trucks and cars, left Lahore on Friday.

The convoy journey, which is expected to culminate in an open-ended rally in Islamabad, could be a major challenge for the new administration. The rally could also turn violent if the police disperse Khan’s supporters.


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