Islamabad – Gunmen killed two senior members of a hardline Sunni Muslim group in a rare attack in the Pakistani capital on Friday, officials said, after weeks of sectarian tensions in the country.
The secretary-general of the Islamabad chapter of the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) organisation, Mufti Muneer Muavia, and his colleague Qari Asad Mehmood were targeted in a residential area bordering the twin city of Rawalpindi.
“Two unknown gunmen sprayed bullets on their car and escaped from the scene on a motorcycle,” Ghazanfar Niaz Ahmed, an official on duty in the local police station, told AFP.
Another police official Muhammed Nawaz, who was at the crime scene, confirmed that the victims were from the ASWJ.
ASWJ is known as the political arm of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, one of the most active terror groups in Pakistan, responsible for a string of bloody attacks on Shiites.
A party official confirmed its activists were targeted.
“Our leaders were killed in a targeted attempt on their life,” Muhammed Tayyeb Haidri, an ASWJ spokesman in Islamabad, told AFP.
There has been a rise in sectarian violence in Pakistan after several deadly clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups near Islamabad in November last year.
Shiites make up around 20 percent of Pakistan’s population, which is largely Sunni.