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ANP man shot dead, Taliban takes blame

An Awami National Party leader contesting Pakistan's upcoming general election and his six-year-old son were gunned down outside a mosque in the southern port city of Karachi today, police and witnesses said.

world Updated: May 04, 2013 02:43 IST

A candidate running for parliament in next week's historic Pakistani election was shot dead on Friday along with his three-year-old son after praying in a mosque in Karachi, police said.

It is the first time that a national assembly candidate has been killed in Pakistan's election campaign. Campaigning has been marred by Taliban threats and attacks, which have killed 63 people since April 11, according to an AFP tally.

Saddiq Zaman Khattak was a businessman and a candidate for the Awami National Party (ANP), the leading secular party in Pakistan's ethnic Pastun northwest.

A party leader said he had previously received threats.

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened further attacks on the ANP and its outgoing coalition partners, the Pakistan People's Party and MQM, the main party in Karachi.

"We have attacked him and we will continue such attacks in the future. ANP, People's Party and MQM are our targets," Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP.

Musharraf party to boycott election
The party of former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who is facing a barrage of legal cases over his time in power, on Friday announced it will boycott next week's historic election.

Ex-president has been humiliated since returning in March from self-imposed exile and is currently under house arrest.

First Published: May 03, 2013 19:32 IST