May 8, 2016: Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed a prominent Pakistani rights activist known for speaking out against the Taliban and radical Islamists groups.
Khurran (Khurram) Zaki was killed late Saturday in a drive-by shooting in the southern city of Karachi, according local police official Muqaddas Haider.
Police say four men riding motorbikes attacked Zaki as he dined at a roadside restaurant with a friend, journalist Rao Khalid, who along with a bystander was injured in the attack.
Reuters news reports that a faction of the Taliban, the Hakeemullah Group, claimed responsibility for the attack. But police say they are unable to verify its validity, saying the group has previously taken responsibility for attacks it did not carry out.
Zaki, a former journalist, was best known for campaigning against Abdul Aziz, the head cleric of the Red Mosque in Islamabad, a bastion of Islamic extremists.
In 2014, Zaki along with other rights activists demonstrated outside the mosque after the cleric refused to condemn the killing of schoolchildren in a massacre in Peshawar.
He and other campaigners filed a court case charging the cleric with incitement against the country’s Shiite minority. (VOA)