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Quetta election chief shot dead

13 March, 2013

Men standing near the body of District Election Commissioner Ziaullah Qasmi in a rickshaw after he was killed by the firing of unknown persons.
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QUETTA: Gunmen shot dead a senior local election official in Quetta on Tuesday, police said, days before parliament is due to dissolve ahead of national polls.

The shooting took place in Chandni Chowk, a congested neighbourhood of Quetta, the capital of volatile Balochistan province, which has been hit by two major sectarian bombings this year that have killed more than 180 people.

Pakistan's government will reach the end of its five-year mandate at the weekend and a general election is expected in May, but concerns about poll security have grown following a spate of sectarian attacks.

Gunmen on a motorbike shot Ziaullah Qasmi, the district election commissioner for Quetta, as he went by car to his office, city police chief Mir Zubair Mahmood told AFP.

"Gunmen fired at Ziaullah Qasmi's car and fled. He has died while his driver is wounded," Mahmood said. Fayyaz Sumbal, another senior police official confirmed the shooting and death of Qasmi. Mahmood said that the motive behind the killing could not be ascertained immediately and police were contacting relatives for further details.

Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan (ECP) Justice (R) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Members of the ECP and staff of the Election Commission have expressed their deep sorrow and grief on the tragic death of Muhammad Zia Ullah Qasmi, District Election Commissioner, Quetta who was brutally killed on Tuesday.

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