Pakistani army officer killed in attack

Brigadier Fazal Zahoor and brother targeted during religious ritual in Sargodha city in suspected sectarian attack.

    Assailants have killed three people, including a senior military officer, at a mosque frequented by minority Shia worshippers in Sargodha, a Pakistani city west of Lahore, according to local police.

    Sectarian strife has been worsening in Pakistan, where Shias make up about 20 percent of the 180 million population.

    "Brigadier Fazal Zahoor was shot by masked gunmen while taking part in a religious ritual at the mosque," Farooq Hasnaat, a police officer, said, adding the attack took place late on Sunday.

    "The gunmen arrived on motorbikes and burst into the mosque. They identified the brigadier and shot and killed him, his brother Fazal Subhani and a third man called Mohammad Ayub."

    The mosque is located in a military cantonment.

    Hasnaat said Zahoor had received threats from the banned organisation Sipah-e-Sahaba, which says it want to expel Shias from Pakistan.

    No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

    More than 800 Shias have been killed in targeted attacks in Pakistan since the start of 2012, according to Human Rights Watch, the New York-based organisation.

    Armed groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi say they are fighting for a Sunni theocracy and Shias should leave the country or be killed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.