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Karzai orders probe into death of journalist

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Karzai orders investigation into the death of a journalist
  • Said Hamid Noori worked for an opponent of Karzai
  • He was beheaded, the leader of a journalists' union said

(CNN) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday ordered an investigation into the beheading death of an Afghan journalist, his office said in a statement.

Said Hamid Noori, a journalist for Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) was killed Sunday, according to Abdul Hamid Mobariz, the head of an Afghan journalists' union.

Mobariz said Noori left his home after receiving a phone call, and his decapitated body was discovered about an hour later.

"The killing of Noori is a big loss for Afghanistan journalists," Mobariz said.

He added that Noori had been working as the deputy chief of a journalists' union. He also directed an educational organization that taught students how to become broadcasters, Mobariz said.

Karzai has ordered the country's Interior Ministry to investigate the killing, the statement from his office said.

According to Journalists Without Borders, a group that defends press freedom and tracks the targeting of journalists, "Noori was a well-known TV anchor who went into politics and became the spokesman of Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, an opponent of President Hamid Karzai."

"While the motives are not yet known, it is important that the investigators should not rule out the possibility that this murder was linked to the victim's work as a journalist," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement on its website.

"Although he had resigned as a state TV presenter, he continued to be a politically committed journalist and was an active member of the National Union of Afghan Journalists. We offer our condolences to his family and friends."

CNN's Matiullah Mati contributed to this report