Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan shot and wounded at protest march in assassination attempt

Imran Khan
Imran Khan

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has been shot in the leg in what his supporters say was an assassination attempt.

A gunman opened fire while Mr Khan, 70, was giving a speech to supporters at a rally in Wazirabad in Punjab province on Thursday, officials said, wounding him and some of his supporters.

Sky’s Cordelia Lynch, who was at the scene, said a Sky News producer was standing close to Mr Khan soon after the injured politician emerged from his container truck.

“My cameraman Duncan Sharp and I were sitting inside the container Imran Khan was on top of, when we suddenly heard screams,” she said.

Mr Khan was rushed away from the scene to hospital and his supporters said he had survived the assassination attempt.

The former cricketer – who has been pushing for new elections after being ousted from power in April – has been delivering fiery speeches at gatherings across the country.

He was six days into a march from Lahore to Islamabad in his drive to bring early elections to the country, pushing for radical change, when the shooting took place.

Large crowds had gathered to hear him speak – and Lynch said she had just interviewed him about threats of violence – when there was a “sudden commotion”.

“The door flew open and we were faced with a panicked looking crowd. Some were shouting, “Imran Khan is dead”, others were asking: “Is he dead? Is he dead,” she said.

“Armed police started running towards us. Ambulances were screeching into the area. I saw one bloodied man carried into the ambulance and then another.”

Pakistan map
(Image: © OpenStreetMap contributors)


PTI party leader Faisal Javed was among the injured.

“Imran Khan and Faisal Javed received bullets wounds. A bullet hit Imran Khan’s shin. Both have been taken to hospital for treatment,” said PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry.

Mr Javed, who had blood stains on his clothes, told Geo TV from the hospital: “Several of our colleagues are wounded. We heard that one of them is dead.”

Imran Khan assassination attempt


“The injured were taken into an ambulance… a lot of panic… people rushing. No one could quite work out what was happening,” said Lynch.

“Then Imran Khan emerged. He had been shot, I understand, in the left leg.

“In fact, our producer here, Mohammed, was able to see that. He was very close to Imran Khan as he emerged.

“He was taken away… a doctor, who was close by, treated three patients.”

She added: “This was the worst case scenario – what so many people were concerned about was that this peaceful protest had the potential to turn violent.

“This is a very real dramatic turn of events, and you could really feel the fear. An hour before we had seen people throwing up confetti.

“A lot of people in the crowd were instantly in tears and were very worried about what had happened to him.”

Mr Khan had been traveling in a large convoy of trucks and cars heading towards the capital, as part of his campaign.

“This is not for politics or personal gain, or to topple the government… this is to bring genuine freedom to the country,” Mr Khan said in a video message on the eve of the march.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the shooting and has ordered an immediate investigation.


Source:  Sky News

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