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A local leader of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Dera Ismail Khan district early Saturday, police said.

The gunmen targeted Maulana Syed Ataullah Shah while he was walking home after offering Fajr prayers near Banu Ada area of D.I. Khan, according to police.

Shah, who was serving as the khateeb (sermon-giver) of a local mosque these days, was considered to be a prominent leader of JUI Dera and a close aide of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

He originally belonged to Panyala, but was residing in D.I. Khan city for past several years.

The past few days have seen several incidents of targeted killing in Dera city. Four people including two policemen were killed and one civilian injured in four such incidents in a span of one week this month.

Two police constables were gunned down on August 11 near Kotli Imam Hussain Imambargah. Two days later, a government servant was shot dead at his doorstep in Maryali area. A milk-seller was critically injured due to firing in Eidgah on August 17.