Pakistan election candidate shot dead as violence escalates ahead of nationwide vote
Islamabad, Pakistan CNN —
A Pakistan election candidate was shot dead while campaigning on Wednesday, as violence escalates a week before polls open.
Rehan Zeb Khan, an independent candidate affiliated with former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was shot in a “targeted killing” when gunmen opened fire on his car in a market in Bajaur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to district police. Three other people were injured.
The Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K, later claimed responsibility for the attack.
It’s the second killing of a candidate in recent weeks after Malik Kaleem Ullah, an independent candidate for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly, was shot dead on January 10 while going door to door, according to Reuters.
Wednesday’s shooting is the latest in a string of attacks across the South Asian nation targeted at political candidates and parties ahead of the general election on February 8.Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan at his residence in Lahore on March 15, 2023.
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Also on Wednesday, the residences and offices of several candidates from Pakistan’s People’s Party and the election office of the Pakistan Muslim League were attacked in Balochistan province, injuring at least 15 people, according to caretaker Minister for Home and Tribal Affairs Balochistan Zubair Jamali.
At least one of the attacks was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army, a militant separatist group.
Just a day earlier, four people were killed and five injured in a blast during PTI campaign rally in the city of Sibi in Balochistan, according to the PTI. No group