ISLAMABAD: General Secretary of Ahl-i-Sunnat Wal Jamaat's (ASWJ) Islamabad chapter, Mufti Muneer Muawiya, and an office-bearer of the Sunni Muslim group, Qari Asad Mahmood, were shot dead in Islamabad's I-8 sector in a rare attack on Friday, officials said after weeks of sectarian tensions in the country.
The two were in a car when unknown gunmen started shooting at their vehicle in a residential area bordering the twin city of Rawalpindi.
“Two unknown gunmen sprayed bullets on their car and escaped from the scene on a motorcycle,” Ghazanfar Niaz Ahmed, an official on duty in the local police station, told AFP.
Another police official Muhammed Nawaz, who was at the crime scene, confirmed that the victims were from the ASWJ.
Following the attack, the gunmen managed to escape from the scene.
Placing the bodies in I-8 chowk, activists from the ASWJ began protesting the incident and refused to hand over the bodies to the police.
A party official confirmed its activists were targeted.
“Our leaders were killed in a targeted attempt on their life,” Muhammed Tayyeb Haidri, an ASWJ spokesman in Islamabad, told AFP.
There has been a rise in sectarian violence in Pakistan after several deadly clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslim groups in Rawalpindi in November last year.
Shias make up around 20 per cent of Pakistan's population, which is largely Sunni.