Officials say the murder appears religiously motivated.
Gunmen on motorcycles shot dead a 37-year-old pharmacy owner from the Ahmadi sect in central Pakistan, police said Thursday, the latest attack on one of the country’s most persecuted minorities.
The incident took place Wednesday in the town of Taunsa in Punjab province.
Police said four gunmen on two motorcycles rode up to the drug store owned by the victim, Ikram Ullah, and sprayed him with bullets before fleeing. “Ikram Ullah was killed on the spot while assailants fled on their motorcycles,” said Saleem Niazi, a senior local police officer.
Police are searching for the attackers, he said, adding that the murder seemed religiously motivated.
Saleemud Din, a community leader, condemned the killing. “Continuous, seditious propaganda against Ahmadis all over the country is a primary reason of these kinds of incidents,” Din said in a statement.
Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974. They are frequent victims of discrimination and violent assaults, but it is rare for suspects to be convicted for attacks against them. Eleven members of the sect were murdered for their faith in 2014 and authorities failed to apprehend any of the killers, a report said April, highlighting growing intolerance toward the sect.