Imran Khan was shot in the leg in an ‘assassination attempt’, say the former Pakistani PM’s supporters | world news

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg in an assassination attempt, his supporters say.

A gunman opened fire as Mr Khan, 70, was addressing supporters at a rally in Wazirabad in Punjab province on Thursday, officials said, injuring him and some of his supporters.

Sky’s Cordelia Lynch, who was at the scene, said a Sky News producer stood near Mr Khan shortly after the injured politician climbed out of his container lorry.

“My cameraman Duncan Sharp and I were sitting in the container that Imran Khan was standing on when we suddenly heard screams,” she said.

Mr Khan was taken to hospital from the scene and his supporters said he survived the assassination.

Imran Khan in Gakhar on Wednesday.  Image File: RAHAT DAR/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Picture:
Imran Khan in Gakhar on Wednesday. Image File: RAHAT DAR/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The former cricketer, who has been pushing for snap elections after his fall in April, has delivered fiery speeches at gatherings across the country.

He was six days on a march from Lahore to Islamabad to bring early elections into the country and urge radical changes when the shooting occurred.

Large crowds had gathered to hear him speak – and Lynch said she had just been interviewing him about threats of violence – when there was a “sudden commotion”.

“The door flew open and we were faced with a panicked crowd. Some shouted: “Imran Khan is dead”, others asked: “Is he dead? Is he dead,” she said.

“Armed police ran towards us. Ambulances raced into the area. I saw a man covered in blood being carried into the ambulance and then another.”

Among the injured was PTI party leader Faisal Javed.

“Imran Khan and Faisal Javed were injured from gunshot wounds. A bullet hit Imran Khan’s shin. Both were taken to hospital for treatment,” said PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry.

Mr Javed, who had bloodstains on his clothes, told Geo TV from the hospital: “Several of our colleagues are injured. We heard that one of them is dead.”

Officials said the shooter was arrested at the scene.

The scene of the assassination

“The injured were taken to an ambulance… great panic… people rushed. Nobody really understood what had happened,” Lynch said.

“Then Imran Khan showed up. As far as I know, he was shot in the left leg.

“In fact, our producer here, Mohammed, could see that. He was very close to Imran Khan when he emerged.

“He was taken away…a doctor who was nearby was treating three patients.”

She added: “This was the worst case scenario – so many people were concerned this peaceful protest had the potential to turn violent.

“It’s a very dramatic turn of events and you could really feel the fear. An hour earlier we had seen people throwing up confetti.

“Many people in the crowd were immediately in tears and very concerned about what had happened to him.”

The scene of the assassination

Mr Khan had traveled towards the capital in a large convoy of trucks and cars as part of his campaign.

“This is not for politics or personal gain or to overthrow the government… it is to bring real freedom to the country,” Mr Khan said in a video message on the eve of the march.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the shooting and ordered an immediate investigation.

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