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US Doctor Gunned Down in Pakistan

  • VOA News

Gunmen in Pakistan have shot dead a visiting American doctor from the minority Ahmadi sect in front of his wife and toddler son.

Two gunmen riding a motorcycle shot Mehdi Ali Qamar numerous times early Monday while he was visiting family graves in the town of Chenab Nagar in Pakistan's Punjab province.

Qamar was a naturalized U.S. citizen who lived in Columbus, Ohio. He had just arrived in Pakistan Saturday to visit family and volunteer at a cardiac hospital.

The cardiologist and his family belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Muslims whose members were officially declared to be heretics under Pakistan's law in the mid-1970s.

Members of the Ahmadi sect follow the self-proclaimed prophet Ghulam Ahmad and consider themselves Muslims. They are forbidden from presenting themselves as Muslims by Pakistani law, and they have long been targeted by Islamic extremists.

Qamar's killing is the latest in scores of attacks carried out by hardline Islamists targeting members of minority communities in Pakistan, including Shia Muslims. The attacks are carried out by hardline members of the Sunni Muslim community, which represents Pakistan's majority population.