More than 20 journalists have staged a protest in Islamabad to demand the release of a reporter who disappeared after reporting the controversial circumstances surrounding an al-Qaida leader's death. Hayatullah Khan has been missing since December fifth after reporting that a missile from a U.S. drone killed a senior al-Qaida member from Egypt , Hamza Rabia near the Afghan border.
The Pakistani government maintains he was killed in a bomb-making accident at a house near Miran Shah. Thousands of Pakistani forces are deployed in the semi-autonomous tribal region to hunt down Taleban and al-Qaida-linked militants. The protesting journalists suspect Mr. Khan was abducted by Pakistani intelligence agents. Officials deny knowledge of his whereabouts. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a press release that five armed men abducted Mr. Khan who had been threatened by security forces, Taleban militants and local tribesman because of his reporting.