A cleric of the Deo Band sect, who was also a former leader of the banned Jash-i-Mohammad, was killed in what the police termed a target killing incident in the Gulbahar police limits on Tuesday.
Mufti Samad Soomro, 45, was targeted outside Lal Masjid in Khamoosh Colony. Investigators said Soomro, a resident of Khamoosh Colony, was also the Mohtamim of Lal Masjid. On Tuesday night, he was returning to the mosque when an unidentified man opened fire on him. The suspect fled, leaving him injured.
People present in the mosque immediately took the cleric to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Tension in the area continued throughout the day as unknown men started aerial firing to scare traders into closing their businesses.
Soomro’s supporters stormed the hospital, where they staged a protest and accused a rival group of the murder. They also demanded that the authorities arrest the killers. A senior police officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the murder was sectarian in nature.
Soomro suffered three bullet wounds. Police recovered empty shells of a 9mm pistol from the scene of the crime and sent samples for forensics tests. The investigators suspected that militant factions were once again trying to ignite sectarian violence in the city by targeting leaders and scholars belonging to religious groups.
On Monday, Maulana Anwer Iqbal Khalid, 55, owner of the Madrassa Faizul Aloom near Chaggi Hotel in Peerabad, which has more than 300 students, was killed. He was on his way home after offering Fajr prayers when he was intercepted near Mohammadi Masjid by some unidentified men, who opened fire on him and fled.
His son Hamid and some worshippers in the mosque rushed to the scene and took him to hospital, where he died from his wounds. Police seized empty shells of a 9mm pistol from the crime scene, and said the cleric had been shot five times.
Investigators believe that this murder was also an instance of sectarian violence. In another incident, Javed Ahmed was shot dead in Frontier Colony on Tuesday night. Police said that Ahmed was a resident of the area and standing outside his house when two men on a motorcycle opened fire at him. Ahmed did not survive his injuries.
They added that it seemed that Ahmed was killed upon some personal enmity; however, a case has been reported and an investigation is under way.