Pakistani Shia cleric shot dead

Men riding a motorcycle have opened fire on a car carrying the vice-principal of a Shia school in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing him and wounding his daughter, police said.

    A bomb at a Shia shrine killed 46 people 10 days ago

    It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on Ghulam Hussain Najfi of the Jamia al-Muntazir school in the capital of the eastern Punjab province. Police official Chaudhry Shafqat said they are still investigating.

    He said Najfi was going home when the attack happened.

    "We only know that Ghulam Hussain Najfi has died and his daughter is being treated at a hospital, but we have no other details," he said. The gunmen fled.

    Attacks common

    Allama Sajid Naqvi, a senior Shia leader, condemned the attack and asked the government to ensure the quick arrest of the assailants.

    "Everyone knows who is behind such attacks," he said. "Those terrorists who killed our people in recent years were responsible for the murder of Ghulam Hussain Najfi."

    He did not blame any particular group, however.

    Attacks against minority Shia clerics and other leaders are common in majority Sunni Pakistan. The latest attack came 10 days after a bomb exploded at a Shia shrine in southwestern Pakistan, killing 46 people.

    The bomb went off during a three-day event attended by
    about 20,000 people to mark the anniversary of the death of
    a 19th century Shia saint.

    About 80% of Pakistan's 150 million people are Sunni and 17% Shia. Although most Muslims live together peacefully, small groups of extremists on both sides stage attacks.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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