Pakistani Legislator, Son Shot Dead in Karachi

A MQM legislator and his son were on Friday shot dead by Taliban militants in a drive-by shooting outside a mosque, triggering violence in many parts of Pakistan's financial hub that claimed at least 18 lives.

Sajid Qureshi, a Muttahida Quami Movement legislator (MQM) in Sindh Assembly, and his 26-year-old son were gunned down when they emerged from the mosque in North Nazimabad area after Friday prayers.

"Four armed men on motorcycles opened fire on the MPA and his son as they walked towards their car," said a senior police official Aamir Qureshi.

Sajid, in his early 50s, was killed instantly while his son succumbed to his injuries at a nearby hospital, the official said, adding that the incident triggered violence in many parts of the city that left at least 18 people dead.

Fifteen people, including the MPA and his son, were killed in incidents of targeted killings as bodies were found in gunny-bags from various locations in the city, police said.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the killing the legislator and his son.

Speaking on phone from an undisclosed location to reporters in northwest Pakistan, Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said the attack was in line with the group's decision to target leaders of the "secular" MQM, Awami National Party and Pakistan People's Party.

Soon after the incident tension spread in the city as the MQM announced a three-day mourning period while appealing for a complete strike tomorrow. Business activities came to a halt in different parts of Karachi.

"We have been saying all along that our workers, members and lawmakers are being targeted by criminals given a free hand by the provincial government," senior MQM leader Rasheed Gondal told reporters.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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