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MNA Nafeesa Shah of PPP (above)  was scheduled to address the meeting.    — File Photo by Online

KHAIRPUR/SUKKUR: Six activists of Pakistan People’s Party and a reporter of a TV channel were killed and 10 people, including three reporters and administrator of Khairpur Taluka Municipal Administration, injured when a group of gunmen opened fire on a public meeting in Sadoro Janwari village on Sunday night.

MNA Nafeesa Shah of PPP was scheduled to address the meeting.

Sukkur DIG Dr Ameer Shaikh said the incident took place because of an enmity between two groups of Janwari community and police knew who had carried out the attack.

But sources told Dawn that issues related to the controversial local government law were likely to be raised in the meeting.

Ms Shah, who is daughter of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, told reporters in the Khairpur civil hospital that the attack was pre-planned and carried out with some political motives.

MPA Syed Bachal Shah of PPP said those killed in the incident were workers of the party.

A large number of PPP workers, relatives of people killed and injured gathered at the civil hospital.

The sources said the gunmen opened fire when people started coming to attend the public meeting.

The deceased were identified as Mushtaque Khand, reporter of Dharti TV, and PPP workers Zafar Ali, Salahuddin, Dilshad, Raza Mehdi, Munawar Janwari and Bilawal Janwari.

The injured — reporter Mukhtiar Phulpoto, TMA Administrator Niaz Janwari, Allah Dad Rind, Faheem Mangi, Jamil Janwari and five others—were taken to hospitals in Khairpur and Sukkur.

Hospital sources said the condition of Mukhtiar Phulpoto and Allah Dad Rind was serious.

Police led by SSP Irfan Baloch cordoned off the area.

The sources said the attackers who came on motorbikes escaped. But some other sources said the gunmen remained in the area for a long time and escaped in rickshaws after firing on people near the ‘welcome camp’.

Local people said the attackers were not from their village.

SSP Irfan Baloch said he had formed police teams for search operations in the area to arrest the attackers.

He said some suspects had been taken into custody and police were interrogating them.

DIG Ameer Shaikh said the culprits would be arrested soon and police teams were trying to trace them.

He said that Sukkur and Khairpur police would conduct joint operations for arresting the culprits.

The firing spread panic in Khairpur city and adjoining areas. All shops and bazaars were closed after the incident.