AML chief escapes assassination bid, three close aides killed

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Rawalpindi, Feb.9 (ANI) : Awami Muslim League chief and former federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had a miraculous escape during an attack in which three of his close aides were killed by unidentified gunmen at Aiwan Chowk in Khayaban-e-Sir Syed here.

According to sources, armed gunmen opened indiscriminate fire just ahead of a public meeting, which was to be addressed by Ahmed.

Ahmed suffered a minor injury in his leg, but three of his close aides were killed in the gun attack.

"Immediately after he (Ahmed) stepped out of the car, two motorcyclists rushed towards the vehicle and started firing indiscriminately. One of Rashid's guards pushed him to the ground, and the shots fired from two Kalashnikovs missed the politician and hit others around the car," The Daily Times quoted an eyewitness, as saying.

Later, AML issued a press statement, saying the attack was an assassination attempt.

Talking to a private television channel later, Ahmed said 'people sensing defeat' had tried to eliminate him before the by-polls.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered the Rawalpindi commissioner and district police officer to launch a probe into the attack and submit a report as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari have also condemned the attack on the former minister and directed the concerned authorities to nab the perpetrators. (ANI)

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