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Pakistan Police: Sikh Lawmaker Killed by Political Rival

A police officer escorts suspects who allegedly killed Sikh lawmaker Sardar Suran Singh after a press conference in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, April 25, 2016.

Pakistani police have arrested six suspects in the killing of a Sikh lawmaker and are denying a Taliban claim of responsibility, saying a rival within the Sikh community hired assassins to carry out the shooting.

Sardar Suran Singh, a provincial adviser on minority affairs in northwestern Pakistan, was gunned down Friday as he headed home. The Pakistani Taliban claimed the attack.

But Azad Khan, police chief in the Malakand district where the shooting took place, said Monday that a rival Sikh politician, Baldev Kumar, paid around $10,000 to have Singh killed. Kumar was among those in police custody, and does not yet have a lawyer.

Sikhs are a tiny minority in Pakistan, and have been targeted by the Taliban and other Muslim extremist groups in the past.