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Jun 01, 2011 at 12:22am IST

Missing Pak journalist Saleem Shahzad found dead

New Delhi: Missing Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was found dead on Tuesday inside his car in Punjab province and his body bore marks of torture, police said. His body was identified by his family.

40-year-old Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online went missing on Sunday after he wrote about links between the Pakistani navy and the al Qaeda that led to the attack on the PNS Mehran naval base earlier this month.

Human rights groups suspect that he was detained by intelligence agencies for his reports over the Mehran base attack.

Pakistani media reported that a former Navy commando and two associates have been arrested in connection with May 22 attack on the naval base in Karachi. The attack on PNS Mehran left 10 security personnel dead.

Mehmal Sarfaraz, the Op-Ed editor of the 'Daily Times' told CNN-IBN that an FIR was filed.

Mehmal Sarfaraz claimed Shahzad had a premonition that he would be abducted by the ISI and left a note beforehand with a human rights group. "The Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the ISI has detained him. It's for a story he did on May 27 which dealt with sensitive info. It was an embarrassment for the government so he might have been picked up for that story. He'd left a letter with the HRW to say that if he went missing, to say that it is the ISI," Sarfaraz said.

(With additional information from PTI)

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