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A gunman shot and wounded former Prime Minister Imran Khan during a protest march in eastern Pakistan on Thursday, an attack that comes as the opposition leader has been building popular support across the country and calling for early elections, the Washington Post reported.
Officials in Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said he was shot in the foot and was slightly injured. They added that six other party leaders were also wounded, with one of them in a serious condition.
The attack took place while Khan was taking part in a protest convoy in the eastern city of Wazirabad. Pakistan’s current leader, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, condemned the shooting and ordered an investigation.
It comes as the former cricket star-turned-politician has been holding demonstrations across the country following his ousting in a no-confidence vote earlier this year. Khan has accused government officials of corruption and being part of a foreign plot to remove him.
Last week, Khan launched a large march toward the country’s capital to demand early elections. He pledged that the march would climax in Pakistan’s largest demonstration in history.
Even so, the former prime minister is facing increasing pressure from the Pakistani government, which has launched a number of legal cases against him, including one under the country’s terrorism law.
Pakistani spy chief, Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum, also accused Khan of asking the country’s powerful military for “illegal and unconstitutional” support while he was prime minister.
Khan’s party has denied any wrongdoing.