Gunmen kill female politician in Pakistan
Peshawar, Pakistan, August 17, 2013
First Published: 19:53 IST(17/8/2013)
Last Updated: 19:55 IST(17/8/2013)
Gunmen shot dead a secular female politician from Pakistan's troubled northwest after breaking into her home at night, police said on Saturday.
Najma Hanif, 35, was a senior member of the Awami National Party (ANP) which is known for its outspoken views against the Taliban and backed military operations against the insurgents while it ruled the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Police said the gunmen, who have not yet been identified, used a silenced pistol in their attack on Friday night.
"One or two attackers entered the house and killed her," said Mohammad Faisal, a senior police officer in the city of Peshawar where the shooting happened.
The motive was not immediately clear but Hanif's husband and son along with their bodyguard were killed by a Taliban suicide bomber in November 2011.
The ANP led the province and was a member of the ruling coalition in the centre from 2008 until elections earlier this year.
The party has been relentlessly targeted by the Taliban, losing hundreds of activists, with attacks against them stepped up during the run-up to the polls in May.
Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has now formed a coalition government in the province but ANP leaders remain in the militants' sights.