PESHAWAR: A Chinese woman and her Pakistani companion were shot dead in the Kohati area of Peshawar on Tuesday afternoon, the police said.
The incident took place during rush hour within the limits of the Shah Qabul police station in one of the most crowded areas of the city. However, the assailant still managed to escape.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations, Peshawar, Tahir Ayub, talking to the media at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), identified the Chinese national as Jiang Hua, 40, and her Pakistani escort as Mohammad Suliman Shams, 25, a resident of Nasir Bagh.
Ayub said unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on them and escaped from the scene. “Both were shot in their faces,” Ayub said, adding that the police were investigating the incident further.
Eyewitnesses said that a man donning a white shawl fired four shots and then slipped through Jehangir Pura towards the Qissa Khawani Bazaar. Eyewitness Jamilur Rehman told The Express Tribune that there was only one attacker and that he was on foot. The slain were taking pictures when they were attacked, he added.
SSP Investigation, Peshawar, Umar Riaz also confirmed that there was one assailant and that he was on foot.
Riaz said the woman had arrived in the country on a tourist visa. He said that police recovered tourism department and Shalimar garden brochures from her luggage, besides a camera, $100 and Rs4,000.
Shamsul Arifeen, father of slain Suliman Shams, told reporters at the LRH that his son had no enmity with anyone, and that the killing was a result of ongoing lawlessness. Arifeen said his son was a student at the Lahore University, adding that he was not aware where the woman was staying.
This was the second attack on Chinese nationals in Peshawar. Three Chinese were killed in the Landai Sarak area of Charsadda Road by assailants in July 2007.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.