- File Photo

QUETTA: Motorbike gunmen Friday shot dead a senior police officer investigating sectarian killings in Pakistan's troubled southwestern province of Balochistan, police said.

The incident took place in Quetta, the capital of the oil and gas rich province, which is plagued by sectarian violence, a tribal insurgency and attacks by Taliban militants.

Police said the assailants sprayed Quetta’s Superintendent Police (SP) Investigation Jamil Kakar with bullets when he left his house in his official car, killing him and injuring a police guard.

“Jamil Kakar died on the spot. We are investigating the motives of the attack,” Salim Lahri, another senior police official in Quetta told AFP.

“The attackers fled on the motorcycle, we have launched a search for their arrest.”

Officials said Kakar was investigating several sectarian attacks and that he had received threats in the recent past.

Kakar was on his way to appear for the hearing of the Balochistan law and order case which was heard at the Supreme Court's Quetta registry.

Kakar was earlier posted at Barori Road Police Station in Quetta as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). He was later promoted to the post of SP and was transferred to the Sariab Road Police Station.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but sectarian violence has left thousands of people dead in Pakistan since the late 1980s.

At least 320 Shias have been killed in targeted attacks this year across Pakistan, including more than 100 in Balochistan, the majority from the Hazara community, the Human Rights Watch said.

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