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25 June 2024

Candidate, four others killed in Pakistan poll violence: police

By Agencies


Five people including an opposition candidate were gunned down in an election-eve attack in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, police said Monday.

The victims included a provincial assembly candidate from opposition leader Nawaz Sharif's party, they said.

Gunmen opened fire on the vehicle of the candidate, Asif Ashraf, when he was visiting his constituency in Lahore, city police chief Malik Iqbal told AFP.

Ashraf and three others including his secretary and a bodyguard died on the way to hospital Sunday night, Iqbal said.

Hospital officials said another wounded supporter died in the hospital early Monday.

The election commission postponed voting in the constituency after the candidate's death.

Sharif and slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, condemned the killing and demanded the killer's arrest.

"We will make the authorities accountable for the murder," Sharif said.

Pakistanis cast their ballots Monday in critical elections overshadowed by violence and fears of rigging, with the fate of key US ally President Pervez Musharraf hanging in the balance. (AFP)