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Gunmen kill local US Embassy employee in Islamabad: police

Gunmen kill local US Embassy employee in Islamabad: police

ISLAMABAD: Police say gunmen have killed a local employee of the US Embassy in Islamabad, though a motive for the attack is still unclear.

The motive for the shooting was unclear. Police said the victim was a member of the Shia Ismaili minority community and was working in the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the embassy.

Police identified the victim as Iqbal Baig, a resident of G-9/1 district in Islamabad, and told AFP the attacker used a pistol.

Baig was shot at 2 am outside his home as an unknown number of accomplices waited in a nearby parked car.

“One of the armed attackers opened fire on Iqbal Baig. One bullet hit him on the left side in the chest and exited on the right side,” Khalid Mehmood Awan, a senior police official at the scene, told AFP.

“Iqbal Baig was working in the US Drug Enforcement Administration for 12 to 13 years and was from the Ismaili Shia sect. His brother told us that he has received threats in the recent past,” Awan added, without detailing the nature of the threats.

The attackers, who fired shots in the air after the attack, managed to flee.

“We have collected some evidence from the site including a 9mm pistol in the nearby area,” Awan added. He said police were investigating several possible motives, including attempted robbery, sectarian killing and extremism.

No militant group has claimed the attack. No one at the US embassy in Islamabad was immediately available for comment.

Read: 43 killed in attack on bus carrying Ismailis in Karachi

Ismailis largely live in peace in Sunni-dominated Pakistan, though Islamic extremists in the country view Shias as heretics.

Gunmen in May shot and killed around 50 Ismailis in the southern port city of Karachi. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had later announced the arrest of 'well-educated militants', who had confessed to the carnage and many other high-profile attacks in the city.

Also read: Qaim announces arrest of killers behind Safoora Goth, Sabeen's murder

During the past decade, the number of incidents related to sectarian violence has continuously increased in the country.

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