A top cleric from one of the largest Muslim seminaries in Pakistan was shot dead yesterday, with at least nine other people killed in bombs and shootings in Karachi in the last 24 hours, officials said.
Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, 60, was a top mufti at the Jamia Banuri Uloom Islamia, a strict Sunni Muslim teaching establishment.
He was being driven in a car with a fellow cleric when a gunman opened fire near the eastern neighbourhood Nursery.
“We have got blurred close-circuit camera footage that shows there was a single gunman who was waiting for them,” a senior police official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.
“When the car slowed down near a traffic intersection, he opened fire to stop it and then attacked them at close range,” he said.
Fellow cleric Mohamed Saleh, 45, and driver Hassaan Shah, 27, were also killed.
“It was a targeted killing and could have a sectarian dimension,” another Pakistani security official told AFP, referring to violence between Pakistan’s majority Sunni and minority Shia communities.
Seven others have died in acts of violence in the city since late Wednesday, he said.
Ethnic, sectarian and politically-linked violence in Pakistan’s financial capital killed at least 2,284 people in 2012 in the deadliest such violence for two decades, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The unrest comes with general elections due by mid-May. The polls will mark the first democratic transition between two civilian governments in Pakistani history.
Seminaries, which provide the poorest families with the only education they can afford, are not tightly regulated in Pakistan.