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Former Pakistani prime minister's son snatched ahead of vote

By Imran Javaid and Saima Mohsin, CNN
updated 3:55 AM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ali Haider Gilani kidnapped in deadly attack in Punjab province, brother says
  • Two people killed, eight others hurt during attack, brother says
  • Police: Gilani, candidate for Punjab provincial assembly, was on way to public meeting
  • Gilani is son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

(CNN) -- A son of a former Pakistani prime minister was kidnapped Thursday in a deadly raid two days before the son was to stand for provincial assembly elections, one of his brothers told CNN

The kidnapping of Ali Haider Gilani is the latest in a string of attacks that have plagued the run-up to Pakistan's national elections scheduled for Saturday.

Two gunmen in a vehicle killed two people and injured eight others as they kidnapped Gilani in Punjab province, his brother Ali Qasim Gilani told CNN.

Ali Haider Gilani -- son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani -- was on his way to address a public meeting in the city of Multan when the attack happened, police senior superintendent Khurram Shakur told local TV reporters.

Imran Khan, head of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party, leaves the hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday, May 22. Khan suffered spinal fractures and a head injury when he toppled from a forklift that was raising him up to a stage as he campaigned in Lahore for elections held on May 11. Victory in the elections went to Nawaz Sharif, a two-time former prime minister, and his party, the Pakistan Muslim League. Imran Khan, head of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party, leaves the hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday, May 22. Khan suffered spinal fractures and a head injury when he toppled from a forklift that was raising him up to a stage as he campaigned in Lahore for elections held on May 11. Victory in the elections went to Nawaz Sharif, a two-time former prime minister, and his party, the Pakistan Muslim League.
High turnout, violence mark Pakistan elections
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The younger Gilani has been running for a seat in the Punjab provincial assembly.

Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso called the elder Gilani on Thursday to assure him that all necessary steps would be taken to recover the son, Khoso's office said.

Saturday's nationwide elections are to be Pakistan's first democratic transition of power, as the governing Pakistan People's Party is poised to become the first civilian government to complete a full five-year term.

But campaigns have been plagued by deadly violence in recent weeks, and the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for several hits on candidates' campaigns.

At least 16 people died Tuesday in two attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province; one attack targeted a PPP rally, and the other targeted a candidate for the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal Ur Rehman group, police said.

And on Monday, an explosion killed 18 people at a rally for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal Ur Rehman, a right-wing religious party with sympathies for the militant Taliban movement. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that blast, saying it attacked because one of the candidates, Munir Orakzai, has handed over members of the Mujahedeen to the United States.

Yousuf Raza Gilani was prime minister from 2008 to 2012.

CNN's Tim Schwarz, Jason Hanna and Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.

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