PESHAWAR: A Shia trader was gunned down in Kochi Bazaar on Friday evening, in the 11th such attack in nearly two months.
Akbar Ali was in his shop with a friend, Muktar Hussain, when two motorcyclists opened fire and escaped, leaving them critically injured. Both were rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) but Ali died on the way. Hussain is said to be in critical condition.
“Most shopkeepers were at the mosque offering prayers so no one really saw the attackers,” said Tauseef Khan, another shopkeeper. He said Ali was targeted in his shop, adding that people in the area learnt about the incident when they heard two boys who worked in the shop crying.
By the time police reached the scene of the crime, the culprits had escaped.
Ali, a resident of Chowk Nasir Khan, inside the walled city, was a trader by profession.
A few hours after Ali was killed, the Imamia Coordination Council (ICC) called for a protest. At least 200 people marched from Imambargah Adil Baig Kucha Risaldar towards Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
There, the aggrieved participants held a sit-in, condemning the government over its failure to bring sectarian violence to an end and demanded the arrest of those responsible for killing Shias.
The protesters, led by Imamia Jirga member Muzaffar Akhunzada, burnt tires at Qissa Khwani Bazaar and placed the deceased’s body on the main thoroughfare.
The sit-in continued till the filing of this report.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2013.