Pak prosecutor handling 26/11 attack, Bhutto assassination cases shot dead

InternationalA Pakistani police officer examines the car of prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali who was killed by gunmen in Islamabad Friday. AP

In a brazen attack, a top Pakistani prosecutor handling the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case and the Benazir Bhutto assassination case was shot dead near his home here Friday, leaving both high-profile cases in limbo.

In an execution-style drive-by shooting, two motorcycle-borne gunmen fired at the car of Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfizar Ali.

The attack occurred shortly after Ali left his house in Sector G-9 to go to Rawalpindi for a hearing of the Bhutto assassination case, in which ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf is a "proclaimed offender", in an anti-terrorism court.

Ali, who was driving, was hit by several bullets and lost control of the car near the busy commercial area of Karachi Company at 7.30 am. The vehicle hit a woman crossing the road and she too died later in hospital.

Ali's bodyguard, paramilitary trooper Farman Ali, was injured in the attack.

Witnesses said the car was hit by almost 30 bullets.

Ali and his bodyguard were taken to the state-run Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

Doctors said Ali died before reaching the hospital. They said Ali was hit by about nine bullets, including one that struck the brain, while the bodyguard was hit by only one bullet.

The gunmen escaped after the brazen shooting.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Ali's son Chaudhry Nisar and some of his colleagues told the media that the prosecutor had been receiving threats for some time.

Some colleagues said Ali had received threats from a banned extremist group. They said he had continued pursing high-profile terrorism cases despite the threats.

Footage on television showed that several bullets had pierced the windscreen and left side of Ali's car. There was blood on the car's seats and on the road.

Police cordoned off the spot and gathered evidence. Ali's diary and several files related to the Bhutto assassination case were found in the car.

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