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Former Pakistan PM Khan Wounded In Shooting At Convoy, Out Of Danger


Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses supporters in Lahore on October 28.
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses supporters in Lahore on October 28.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was slightly wounded and one of his supporters was killed on November 3 when a gunman opened fire at his convoy in the east of the country, his party and police said. Several other people were also wounded.

Asad Umar, an official from Khan's opposition Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party, said the former prime minister was wounded in the leg and was not seriously hurt.

He was taken to a hospital in Lahore after the attack in Wazirabad, nearly 200 kilometers from the capital, Islamabad.

Faisal Javed, a PTI lawmaker, was also among the wounded.

The identity of the gunman, who was arrested at the scene, was not immediately known. No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting.

"Our rescuers have taken at least one dead body and eight injured people to the hospital," said Farooq Ahmad, a spokesman for the rescue department.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the shooting on Twitter and ordered an immediate investigation.

The attack also drew international condemnation, including from the United States.

"Violence has no place in politics, and we call on all parties to refrain from violence, harassment, and intimidation," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

"The United States is deeply committed to a democratic and peaceful Pakistan, and we stand with the Pakistani people."

Khan, a 70-year-old former cricket star, launched a so-called "long march" on Islamabad on October 28 to pressure the government into calling early elections. There were hundreds of people in the convoy.

"It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he's stable. There was a lot of bleeding," Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for PTI, told the media.

Khan was ousted in April in a no-confidence vote after defections by some of his coalition partners, but he retains mass public support.

Khan lacks backing from Pakistan's powerful military, which has directly ruled the country for more than three of the 7 1/2 decades since independence.

Last month, Pakistan's election commission disqualified Khan from running for public office for five years on charges of unlawfully selling gifts received from heads of state during his term in power.

Pakistan, a nuclear-armed South Asian country with a massive population of 225 million people, has a long history of political violence.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007 in a gun and bomb attack after holding an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi, next to Islamabad.

Her father, former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in the same city in 1979 after being deposed by a military coup.

Pakistan's first head of government, Liaquat Ali Khan, was shot dead in 1951, also in Rawalpindi. Several other senior politicians, including ministers and provincial governors, have fallen victim to assassinations since Pakistan was created in 1947.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and Dawn

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