Taliban kills rights activist Khurram Zaki in Pakistan

Taliban claims responsibility for killing Pakistani blogger and human rights activist in Karachi

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Relatives carry the coffin of Khurram Zaki who was shot by gunmen, during his funeral in Karachi, Pakistan, May 8, 2016.

The Taliban said late on Saturday night that it shot and killed prominent blogger and rights activist Khurram Zaki in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

A so-called spokesman for the Hakimullah group of the Pakistani Taliban coalition (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan) Qari Saifullah said that Zaki had been killed for criticising a prominent cleric associated with Islamabad's Red Mosque.

Zaki, who was riddled with bullets while sitting in a roadside cafe in Karachi's northern district, had recently been leading a campaign against Red Mosque cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz for the latter’s alleged support for militancy.

Pakistani mourners raise their hands and shout slogans during the funeral of Khurram Zaki, who was shot by gunmen, in Karachi, Pakistan, May 8, 2016 / Reuters.

In 2007, Abdul Aziz's younger brother, Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, along with hundreds of students, were killed in a military operation ordered by the then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf who had targeted the mosque.

Zaki's murder on Saturday night - similar to recent assassinations in Bangladesh - is the latest in a series of attacks on secular bloggers and social activists in Pakistan, mainly in Karachi.

In 2013 and 2015 respectively, suspected militants killed prominent social activists Sabeen Mehmud and Perween Rehman, whose killers the police have since claimed to have arrested.

TRTWorld, AA