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Shia leader from PPP gunned down by suspected terrorists

January 09, 2013 20:27 IST

A top Shia leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party was gunned down by suspected terrorists outside his medical clinic in Peshawar city in the country's restive northwest on Wednesday, officials said.

Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, who headed the PPP chapter in Kurram tribal region, was shot dead outside his clinic in Dabgari area of Peshawar by motorcycle-borne gunmen on Wednesday afternoon.

The attackers fled after the shooting. No group claimed responsibility for the attack though police officials and PPP insiders said they believed Shah was targetted by terrorists.

A gastroenterologist by profession, Shah was the brother of former ambassador Qaiser Khan and former additional inspector general of police Irshad Hussain.

The Kurram Agency, a Shia-majority tribal district, has for long been troubled by clashes between rival Shia and Sunni tribesmen. The two sides agreed on a ceasefire last year but the truce has been violated several times.

President Asif Ali Zardari, who heads the PPP, strongly condemned the assassination of Shah. He lauded Shah's services to the people both as a doctor and as a strong proponent of democracy. He directed authorities to bring Shah's killers to justice.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad