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Imran Khan: Pakistan's former prime minister shot and wounded at protest rally

Gunman reportedly opened fire while Imran Khan was giving a speech to supporters at a march in Wazirabad
Imran Khan carried by supporters after being shot in the leg in Wazirabad city on 3 November 2022 (Screenshot/Twitter)
Imran Khan was carried by supporters after being shot in the leg in Wazirabad city on 3 November 2022 (Screenshot/Twitter)

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been lightly wounded after an unidentified gunman opened fire on his convoy in an attack that killed one person and injured six more.  

Khan was in the eastern city of Wazirabad, some 190km south of the capital Islamabad, on Thursday where he was leading a protest march demanding the government hold early elections.

In one video posted on social media, a burst of gunfire could be heard as Khan's vehicle slowly moved through a crowd of his supporters.

As the gunshots rang out, Khan and others in the vehicle appeared to duck for cover. In another video, Khan could be seen being rushed away from the scene. 

'I was standing with Imran Khan when he was attacked. It was a straight fire... the bullet was meant to kill, not scare'

- Imran Ismail, PTI party member

Imran Ismail, a senior member of Khan's PTI party,  said the "assassins" who attacked Khan had intended to "kill" the former premier.

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"I was standing with Imran Khan when he was attacked. It was a straight fire... the bullet was meant to kill, not scare," he said.

The Punjab police confirmed in a statement that one man, identified as Muazzam Nawaz, was killed and seven people were wounded. 

The attacker was apprehended by a passerby. Police said a suspect has been taken into custody.

After the attack, Khan could be seen waving at his supporters as he was being taken to hospital in Lahore. Khan's PTI party said on Twitter that the 70-year-old was in a stable condition.

Fawad Chaudhry, a senior member of the PTI party, confirmed that Khan was shot in the leg and called the incident a "targeted attack". In an interview with the Aaj TV channel, Chaudhry said Senators Faisal Javed and Ahmad Chattha were among those wounded.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif issued a statement condemning the incident and asked authorities to immediately launch an investigation.

"I have directed [the] interior minister for an immediate report on the incident. I pray for the recovery and health of [the] PTI chairman and other injured people," he said.

Sharif added that the federal government would extend all support necessary to the Punjab government for security and investigation: "Violence should have no place in our country's politics."

Khan has been embroiled in a war of words with Pakistan's powerful military and intelligence services since he was ousted from power in April following a vote of no confidence.

PTI leaders alleged that the two organisations were behind Thursday's attack against Khan.

"[The] string pullers and the establishment will be held responsible by the nation for this murderous attack on Imran Khan," said Shireen Mazari, a senior PTI member.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan's military, issued a statement condemning the shooting. 

"Sincere prayers for precious life lost and speedy recovery and well being of Chairman PTI Mr Imran Khan and all those injured in this unfortunate incident," ISPR said.

Khan had been leading his supporters on a march from the eastern city of Lahore toward the capital Islamabad to demand early elections since Friday.

Last month, he alleged that Arshad Sharif, a journalist who had also fallen foul of the country's military, was the victim of a targeted killing.

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