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Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan shot in assassination attempt

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Imran Khan was on Thursday shot and wounded in an assassination attempt in the eastern city of Wazirabad.

He was shot and wounded in the leg during a protest march.

Khan, 70, ousted as prime minister in April, was six days into a miles-long protest procession, standing and waving to thousands of cheering supporters from the roof of a container truck when the shots rang out.

Several in his convoy were wounded in the attack in Wazirabad, nearly 200 km (120 miles) from Islamabad, and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said a suspect had been arrested.

“It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesperson for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, told Reuters.

“If the shooter had not been stopped by people there, the entire PTI leadership would have been wiped out.”

The identity of the gunman, who was arrested at the scene, was not immediately known. No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting, according to The Guardian.

Mr Khan, 70, was leading the march on the capital Islamabad to demand snap elections after he was ousted in April.

The former prime minister was seen being taken to a hospital in Lahore. A party spokesman was quoted by the BBC as saying that he had been hit in the shin.
Another party leader, provincial health minister Yasmeen Rashid, said Mr Khan was in a stable condition.

Police released a video confession of a man they arrested who they say had attempted to kill the former PM.

It is unclear under what conditions the interview was carried out, but in it the man is asked by police why he opened fire, and replies: “He was misguiding the people. I wanted to kill him. I tried to kill him.”

In a statement, the military called the shooting “highly condemnable”.

Khan had accused the military of backing the plan to oust him from power. Last week, the military held an unprecedented press conference to deny the claims.

“I heard a burst of bullet shots after which I saw Imran Khan and his aides fall down on the truck,” witness Qazzafi Butt told Reuters.

“Later, a gunman shot a single shot but was grabbed by an activist of Khan’s party.”

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