KARACHI: Renowned religious scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani survived an assassination attempt on Friday as unidentified gunmen opened fire on two vehicles near Karachi’s NIPA Chowrangi, killing two.
Mufti Taqi Usmani’s two guards, one a Sindh police official and the other belonging to a private company, were killed in the targeted attack. The vehicles, which belonged to Darul Uloom Korangi, were travelling together and were fired at by assailants on motorcycles.
Senior journalist Ansar Abbasi spoke with Mufti Taqi Usmani after the attack who told him he was traveling with his wife and two grandsons, all who remained unhurt. Mufti Taqi further said the motorcyclists fired from the back at the vehicle and then went forward and fired.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Gulshan Tahir Noorani dismissed earlier reports regarding two separate incidents of firing and said, “It is only one incident of firing from the same spot on two vehicles.”
“Moulana Taqi Usmani was travelling in a black Honda Civic along with his family. The second car with his driver and guard was a Toyota Corolla. The cars were travelling together and were fired on by motorcyclists near the ramp which goes from Aladdin Park to NIPA Chowrangi” the SP Gulshan said.
“First, Moulana Taqi Usmani’s car was fired on in which his guard, a Sindh police official, and driver were shot. The driver took the car straight to Liaquat National Hospital. The second car crashed at NIPA Chowrangi in which Sanobar Khan was martyred and the driver Amir Shahab was injured,” he added.
Jinnah Hospital spokesperson Dr Seemi Jamali said, “Security guard Sanober Khan was brought to the hospital dead. The second Amir Shahab is critically wounded and is on ventilator.”
IG Sindh Kaleem Imam said, “Investigations are underway. A Sindh police officer embraced martyrdom in protecting Moulana Sb.” The police officer who was guarding Mufti Usmani has been identified as Muhammad Farooq.
Officials from the crime unit and investigative teams reached the site of the incident and gathered evidence. Nine bullets of 9mm-bore were found at the site, police said.
Counter-Terrorism Department in-charge Raja Umar Khattab said, “As per initial reports, four terrorists on two motorcycles fired at the cars.”
“Mufti Usmani was targeted and his cars were fired at after recce,” the CTD in-charge said.
Governor Sindh Imran Ismail while speaking to Geo News said, “Moulana Taqi Usmani had been receiving threats for some time. He had reported that he had been receiving threats and his security had been increased.”
“Hopefully we will arrest the suspects by this evening,” he added.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and sought a report from Additional IG Karachi. The Sindh chief minister asked the additional IG to specify whether it is an incident of targeted killing or not. Shah also ordered the immediate arrest of the suspects.