Pakistan’s Imran Khan shot in “clear assassination attempt”
Pakistan’s cricket star-turned prime minister Imran Khan was shot on Thursday as an assailant opened fire on his vehicle in an apparent assassination attempt. Representatives for the ex-premier told CBS News he was hit in the foot and or the lower leg, and his injuries were not life-threatening. He was transported to a hospital in Lahore for treatment.
About a half-dozen other members of Khan’s entourage also sustained injuries in the attack, which the senior vice president of Khan’s political party, PTI, called “a clear assassination attempt.”
“If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out,” Fawad Chaudhry told the Reuters news agency.
Khan,, has been conducting a long campaign-protest trip from Lahore to Islamabad, with his vehicle convoy stopping in several cities along the way. The shooting happened in Punjab province’s Wazirabad, about halfway between the two bigger cities. People in the crowds that had gathered to see Khan quickly apprehended the shooter and handed him over to authorities.
The purpose of Khan’s march is to call on the government to hold early elections.
In August, Pakistani police, a divisive figure who was ousted from the country’s top job in April with a no-confidence vote by opposition parties. The charges fueled political tension in the divided nation, but did not deter Khan from his string of campaign events as he seeks a return to office.
The terrorism charges were filed over a speech Khan gave just days earlier, in which he threatened to sue police officers and a female judge, and claimed a close aide was tortured after his arrest.
Over the weekend, female journalist Sadaf Naeemafter slipping off a truck carrying Khan as she covered one of his campaign marches.