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Pakistan candidate targeted, killed, official says

From Nic Robertson and Nasir Habib, CNN
updated 4:00 PM EDT, Thu April 11, 2013
Pakistani relatives and residents gather outside the home of slain candidate, Fakhar UI Islam, who was a candidate for the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on April 11, 2013.
Pakistani relatives and residents gather outside the home of slain candidate, Fakhar UI Islam, who was a candidate for the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on April 11, 2013.

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A candidate in May's 2013 national elections in Pakistan was shot and killed Thursday by two gunmen on a motorbike, a senior police official in Hyderabad told CNN. Candidate Fakhar Ul Islam was targeted on his way home from his office, said Saqib Ismail Memon, the police chief of Pakistan's southern district of Hyderabad.

Islam was a member of Muttahida Quami Movement or MQM, Pakistan's most liberal and secular political party that is firmly opposed to the Pakistani Taliban or TTP.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has told Pakistanis to stay away from the elections.

"We are not in favor of democracy, democracy is for Jews and Christians" he said in recent propaganda video.

"They are intended to divide Muslims, we want the implementation of Sharia [law] and for that jihad is necessary," he added.

The TTP have warned parties and politicians who have been part of the outgoing government that they are targets for attack.

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