Drive-by shooting: Sweeper gunned down by assailants

Official says Christians were not the actual target.

Shabbir Mir December 29, 2012
“We don’t think that Christians were the target of this shooting,” says official.PHOTO: FILE

GILGIT: A sweeper was killed and his brother injured when unidentified gunmen opened fired at them near Ittehad Chowk early Friday morning.

Karamat Masih and Liaquat Masih worked for the local government’s municipal committee and were sweeping roads as per routine when the incident occured. Karamat died on the spot while Liaqaut was taken to nearby District Headquarters Hospital where his condition was said to be stable.

Since the victims belonged to the Christian committee, speculations of a deliberate attack on minorities surfaced almost immediately. A district administration official, however, ruled out the possibility.

“We don’t think that Christians were the target of this shooting,” the official told The Express Tribune. “Apparently the assailants missed their target and hit them by mistake.”

A senior police official Ali Sher cited a “personal feud” as the reason for the attack. “The incident has nothing to do with sectarianism or terrorism. It was rather a result of personal enmity.” Sher added the culprits would be nabbed “at all costs.”

While there have been many reported incidents of sectarian violence in Gilgit this year, this is the first one in which  a Christian has died.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2012.


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