KARACHI: Senior JUI-F leader Khalid Mehmood Soomro was shot dead in Sukkur on Saturday.
The early morning attack took place when Soomro, who was the secretary general for the Sindh chapter of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl), was leaving a mosque attached to a madrassah in Sukkur after offering Fajr prayers.
Armed men entered the area and opened fire at Soomro.
Soomro was in Sukkur to participate in a conference when the attack took place in the Khosa Goth area.
Soomro, who held important positions in his party, hailed from Sindh's Larkana region.
Soomro, who also represented his party in the Senate from 2006-2012, was attacked at least six times prior to Saturday's fatal one.
He leaves behind a widow, six sons and three daughters.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has escaped two fatal attacks on him in the recent years. Following the assassination of Soomro, the JUI-F chief said that the murder of his party's secretary general was an act of terrorism.
"The government should order and ensure a thorough investigation into the attack and punish those responsible," Fazl said.
The assassination was also condemned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as well as Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain.
Apart from the attacks on Soomro and party chief Fazl, JUI-F leaders have been attacked, some of them fatally, during the past few years. In September this year, senior JUI-F activist Maulana Sajidullah was shot dead in Karachi's Pirabad area.
Meanwhile, in 2012, JUI-F leader and former nazim Haji Mohammad Azeem Khan was killed when gunmen attacked his pickup in Lakki Marwat.
In 2010, JUI-F leader Mir Metha Khan Jattak, who was associated with the Nasirabad district branch of his party was killed in an attack in Tambo tehsil.
Nawaz Sharif condemns the assassination
Prime Minister Nawaz sharif called JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and offered his condolences over the assassination of party leader Dr Khalid Soomro.
Condemning the murder, the prime minister said the nation had been “deprived of a great scholar”.
He added that Soomro was a great parliamentarian and assured the JUI-F chief that "no stone would be left unturned to find those responsible for the killing".
Obaidullah Shaikh contributed to reporting.