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US-based minority doctor shot dead in Pakistan It seems to be a targeted attack: police

LAHORE, Pakistan, May 26, (Agencies): Gunmen shot dead a doctor from the minority Ahmadi community in central Pakistan on Monday, officials said, the latest attack on the beleaguered group. Mehdi Ali, a 50-year-old heart surgeon normally based in the United States, was attacked as he visited a cemetary in the town of Chenab Nagar in Punjab province.

Ahmadis, who believe that the founder of their sect was a prophet, were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974 and now suffer discrimination and violent attacks. “Two gunmen riding on a motorbike shot dead a cardiac surgeon, Dr Mehdi Ali outside the Ahmadi graveyard in Chenab Nagar,” local police official Ahmed Ali told AFP.

He said the incident occurred early on Monday morning when the doctor was going to the graveyard with his family. “The assailants have fled the scene. We are looking into the incident. It seems to be a targeted attack,” Ali said.

Mehdi Ali had taken his five-year-old son and a cousin to a graveyard in Punjab province at dawn to pray when he was shot, said Salim ud Din, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community. “He came here just one or two days ago to work at our heart hospital, to serve humanity and for his country,” said Din. “Two persons came on motor-bikes.

They shot 11 bullets in him.” Ali was born in Pakistan but moved abroad in 1996. He had returned to do voluntary work at a state-ofthe- art heart hospital built by the Ahmadi community in the eastern town of Rabwah. Ali, 51, moved to Columbus, Ohio, in the United States, where he founded an Ahmadi centre and raised funds for medical charities in Pakistan, said Din

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