Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan injured in assassination attempt

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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan injured in assassination attempt

Wounded, the former prime minister was taken to a hospital in Wazirabad.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was in stable condition on Thursday after being shot and injured during a political rally as part of a 'long march' across the country to return to Pakistan. power.

Mr. Khan, who was overthrown in April by a motion of no confidence, has been leading a long march since Friday bringing together several thousand of his supporters between the city of Lahore (east) and the capital Islamabad, to obtain the holding of early elections.

It was an attempt to kill him, to assassinate him, one of his close advisers, Raoof Hasan.

The former cricket champion was injured in the right leg by gunshots fired at him and other officials of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI, Pakistan Movement for justice), who were standing on top of a container placed on a truck moving slowly in the middle of the crowd, near Gujranwala (east).

There was a guy in front of the container holding this automatic gun. He fired a burst. Everyone standing in the front row was hit, Fawad Chaudhry, a former information minister in the Khan government, behind which he stood, told AFP.

People tried to seize the weapon, he said. In the fight, he missed the target. There was a lot of blood on the container. Video shows Mr. Khan and his team suddenly squatting as gunshots were heard.

According to Chaudhry, six people who were standing on the container were hit and a bystander was killed.

In a tweet, Pakistani President Arif Alvi denounced an odious assassination attempt.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced that an assailant had been apprehended, and confirmed the attack. authenticity of a video circulating online in which he explains his act.

I did it because [Khan] was misleading the public. I tried to kill him, I tried my best, explains the man with tousled hair, his hands tied behind his back, inside what appears to be a post police.

He adds that he was angered by the music emanating from the procession at the time of the call to prayer.

Police did not immediately comment on the incident or confirm reports that a second assailant was killed.

Faisal Sultan, the doctor who treated Mr Khan at Lahore Hospital, and his former health adviser when he was head of government, has confirmed that he is in stable condition.

< p class="e-p">Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he strongly condemns the attack and prays for the speedy recovery of Imran and the others injured.

Several political assassinations have marked the recent history of the country, which has also been struggling for decades with violent Islamist movements that challenge the influence of the central power.

This attack brings to mind in particular the memory of the attack which cost the life in 2007 of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman of the modern era to have led a Muslim country. The masterminds of his assassination have never been identified.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing his supporters in Gujranwala, two days before he was shot an assassination attempt.

Shots were fired and a suicide bomber blew himself up near her vehicle as she saluted her supporters in Rawalpindi. She had returned to Pakistan a few weeks earlier to take part in the elections, after several years of exile.

On the day of her return to the country, her convoy had been targeted of another bloody attack in Karachi, in which more than 130 people were killed.

Despite his ouster, Mr. Khan retains broad support among the population. Since April, he has held large rallies across the country – drawing tens of thousands of supporters – to pressure the fragile ruling coalition.

Each day since the march began, Mr. Khan, 70, has climbed onto this container to address thousands of his supporters from the towns he passed through.

He continues to claim that his downfall was the result of a conspiracy hatched by the United States, and relentlessly criticizes the government of his successor as well as the government. military institution.

Imran Khan came to power in 2018, after the victory in the PTI legislative elections, on a populist platform combining promises of social reform, religious conservatism and the fight against corruption.

But under his tenure, the economic situation had deteriorated and he had lost the support of the army, which was accused of having helped get him elected.

In recent months, he has repeatedly declared himself ready to die for his country, and those around him have often reported threats against him .

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