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Gunmen kill ASWJ Punjab chief in drive-by shooting in Lahore

07 December, 2013

LAHORE: Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) provincial president Maulana Shamsur Rehman Muaviya was shot dead by unidentified motorcyclists in Shafiqabad Police limits on Friday, while his driver and a passerby received bullet injuries.

Police have registered a murder case against the unidentified assailants on the complaint of the deceased's brother, and removed the dead body to mortuary for autopsy. The condition of the other injured was said to be out of danger. The attack took place at Batti Chowk, Shafiqabad. Four unidentified motorcyclists approached Maulana Muaviya's vehicle and opened fire.

"Two gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire on Muaviya's vehicle, wounding him and his driver critically," senior local police official, Rana Abdul Jabbar, told AFP. The deceased was returning home after leading the Friday prayer at Muhammadi Masjid, Kareem Park. The maulana, his driver and the passerby who received severe bullet injuries were taken to a nearby hospital where the ASWJ leader succumbed to his injuries. According to doctors, Maulana Muaviya, 50, received several bullets in his head and chest.

The assailants managed to escape the scene. Sources said that police was patrolling the area as part of Friday security plan, while Metro Bus police was also present very near the attack site, but no one chased the attackers. The CCPO, DIG (operations) and other police officers said that it was a target killing apparently on sectarian grounds. A large number of ASWJ workers gathered outside the mortuary where the body was taken and shouted slogans against the killers. They demanded their early arrest.

The angry mob also blocked The Mall near Neela Gumbad, Anarkali, and burnt tyres for several hours. The protesters also resorted to vandalism. The protest caused massive traffic jams at different important roads of the city. Police blocked The Mall and its surrounding roads to prevent any untoward incident. ASWJ leader Hafiz Usman announced three days of mourning across the country and said that the protest would continue until the culprits' arrest.

He said the funeral prayer would offer at Masjid Shuhada at around 2pm on Saturday (today). ASWJ leader Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi said in a tweet that the killing of Rehman was part of a "big plot" and that "the situation is now getting out of control." Another party official tweeted that "party workers should be ready to protest countrywide." Around 150 protestors had gathered in Islamabad, police said, and nearby markets were closed in case of violence. Extra police were deployed at imambargahs there and in Karachi.

The IGP has ordered beefed-up and foolproof security arrangements across the province, especially at important mosques, imambargahs and other religious places, government and private institutions, buildings and markets.

End.

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