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Gunmen kill Shiite director of Pakistan university

19 november 2013, 18:09
Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle on Tuesday killed a senior Shiite director of a university along with his driver in Pakistan's central Punjab province, AFP reports citing officials.

In an apparent targeted sectarian attack, Syed Shabir Hussain Shah, director of student affairs at a university in the eastern city of Gujrat city in Punjab province, was attacked while on his way to the campus.

"Gunmen riding a motorbike sprayed bullets on his vehicle when he was about to reach the university campus in (the) morning. His driver was also killed in the attack," Ali Nasir Rizvi, district police chief, told AFP.

"At the moment, we don't know about the numbers of the attackers, but the incident looks like a targeted killing," he said.

Officials suspected the attack came as retaliation for violence in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Friday in which a mainly Sunni mosque was burnt and 10 people were killed.

University officials said the slain director was very active in the university's affairs.

"He was a Shiite by sect, but very progressive official of the campus," Sheikh Abdul Rashid, a spokesman for the university, told AFP.

Another colleague said Shah had previously received threats.

"He had been threatened by unknown people in past," a professor at Gujrat University, said on the condition of anonymity.

On Monday, authorities in northwestern city of Kohat imposed a curfew after a fresh round of sectarian violence left four people dead, officials said.

Pakistan is facing rising sectarian violence, with Sunni militant groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban often attacking gatherings of Shiites, who make up some 20 percent of the country's overwhelmingly Muslim population.

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