The killing took place in the Bhara Kahu neighbourhood when cleric Mufti Ikramur Rehman was heading toward his car with his 13-year-old son and a seminary student late on Saturday night. Police are investigating the motive behind the attack,

A police vehicle is seen patrolling in Islamabad, Pakistan March 8, 2019
A police vehicle is seen patrolling in Islamabad, Pakistan March 8, 2019 (Reuters Archive)

A trio of gunmen have shot and killed a religious cleric, his teenage son and a student on the outskirts of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, amid a rise in militant attacks.

Police officer Shahzad Khan said the killing took place in the Bhara Kahu neighbourhood when Mufti Ikramur Rehman was heading toward his car with his 13-year-old son and a seminary student late on Saturday night.

He said three assailants fired several shots before fleeing the scene. The cleric, his son, and the student received multiple gunshot wounds and died at a hospital.

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Investigation underway

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and Khan said an investigation was underway to ascertain the identity of the assailants and the motive behind the killings.

Ikramur Rehman was affiliated with the party of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads an 11-party opposition alliance against the government.

Militant violence has been on the rise in Pakistan recently. Last week, four vocational school instructors who advocated for women’s rights were traveling together when they were gunned down in a Pakistan border region. 

A Twitter death threat against Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai attracted an avalanche of trolls who heaped abuse on the young champion of girls' education. A couple of men on a motorcycle opened fire on a police check-post not far from the Afghan border killing a young police constable.

In recent weeks, at least a dozen military and paramilitary men have been killed in ambushes, attacks, and operations against militant hideouts, mostly in the western border regions.

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Source: AP