Two die as gunmen attack Pakistan opposition politician

Children look at a sacrifice slaughter from the window of thir house during Eid al-Adha celebrations in Karachi. A 10 year old was killed when gunmen attacked an opposition politician after the event. Photo: Akhtar Soomro

KARACHI, Pakistan – Unknown gunmen Saturday killed a 10-year-old boy and a guard and wounded four others when they fired at an opposition politician in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, police said.

The attack took place in the central Buffer Zone district when Khawaja Izharul Hassan from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was hugging people after an Eid al-Adha prayer gathering but he was unharmed, senior police official Zulfiqar Larak told AFP.

"Unknown gunmen opened fire on Khawaja Izharul Hassan when he was meeting people after Eid prayers. His guard and a boy, about 10 years old, were killed while four others were including another guard were wounded in the firing," Larak said.

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Another senior police official, Pir Mohammad Shah, confirmed the shooting and said one of the gunmen was also killed when Hassan's second guard, who was also wounded in the attack, fired back.

He said the attackers came in police uniforms so they were able to pass through various check points unhindered.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar condemned the shooting and criticised federal and provincial governments for not providing adequate security to opposition politicians despite threats from banned sectarian militant outfits.

"I strongly condemn this attack on Khawaja Izharul Hassan," Farooq said.

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"My party colleagues and myself are facing threats from banned sectarian militant outfits and other organisations but federal and provincial governments have failed to provide us adequate security."

Karachi, Pakistan's largest city with more than 14 million inhabitants and a major business and industrial hub, is rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy.

A strategic operation in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in violence, but scattered attacks still take place.


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