Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan has survived a shooting at a political rally on Thursday that his party called an assassination attempt, which killed one person and injured several others and prompted protests among Khan’s supporters.
Video of the alleged attack shows Khan waving from an open-topped truck just outside the town of Gujranwala, Punjab province, when shots rang out, sending his party members ducking for cover.
A bullet hit Khan in the leg, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Asad Umar, who later added: “Yes, he has been shot, there are pellets lodged in his leg, his bone has been chipped, he has also been shot in his thigh.”
Khan was taken from the rally site to receive treatment in Lahore, around a two-and-a-half-hour drive away, and was in a stable condition, Umar added.
A man suspected of firing shots at the rally was detained on Thursday, according to police. The suspect was arrested with a 9mm pistol and two empty magazines, police said.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information released a video of a confession from an unnamed man who it claims carried out the attack.
In the video, the man says he “wanted to kill Imran Khan” because he “was misleading people,” adding he had no accomplices.
“They (Khan’s rallies) were playing music and shouting from the loudspeakers as the call for prayer was happening. I didn’t like this happening on our soil,” the man says in the video, purportedly regarding his intentions.
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At least one person was killed in the incident, according to Faisal Javed, a senior PTI politician and close Khan ally who received a wound to the head in the attack. The victim’s name has not been released.
In a video statement Javed, who can be seen sitting up while receiving treatment, said: “Please pray for us, for Imran Khan, pray for our fellow workers who are severely injured and pray for our party member who has died and is martyred.”
Earlier Thursday, Sen. Fawad Chaudhry, a senior PTI politician and Khan’s former information minister, said Khan was undergoing surgery and six others were injured and still being treated.
“We want to know who is behind the incident, which people trained the accused, what is the thinking under which this boy was prepared, how much money he got, where did he get it from,” the Chief Minister of Punjab province, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, wrote on Twitter.
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