‘Wall St. Journal’: Pearl Is Dead

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Updated at 6:10 p.m. EST

The Wall Street Journal‘s Web site reported this afternoon that kidnapped reporter Daniel Pearl has been killed.

“We now believe, based on reports from the U.S. State Department and police officials of the Pakistani province of Sind, that Danny Pearl was killed by his captors,” Journal Publisher Peter Kann said in a prepared statement. “We are heartbroken at his death.”

Pearl was kidnapped in January, but his whereabouts have been unknown.

“Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter, and a dear friend of many at the Journal,” Kann’s statement continued. “His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of everything Danny’s kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but their actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani patriots.”

After Pearl disappeared, his captors e-mailed photographs of the reporter, including one with a gun pointed at his head, to media outlets. Pakistani police have arrested several suspects in the case, but until today, some officials believed Pearl could still be alive.

The Wall Street Journal‘s full statement from the AP:

“We now believe, based on reports from the U.S. State Department and police officials of the Pakistani province of Sind, that Danny Pearl was killed by his captors. We are heartbroken at his death.

“Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter, and a dear friend of many at the Journal. His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of everything Danny’s kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but their actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani patriots.

“We will, in coming months, find ways, public and private, to celebrate the great work and good works Danny did. But today is a day to grieve.

“This loss is, of course, most painful for Danny’s family, in this country and elsewhere. We ask our colleagues in the press to respect their privacy, and to permit them to grieve undisturbed. The Wall Street Journal is a public institution, but the Pearls are private citizens. We hope also that our colleagues, too, will be permitted some time and space to begin the very difficult process of making peace with this profound loss.”

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