Pakistani troops stand guard near the damaged office of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in Karachi on May 4, 2013.
An independent candidate who had been running for a seat in the assembly of Pakistan’s Sindh province in Saturday’s election has been shot dead in Karachi.
Shakil Ahmed and two supporters were killed on Friday night in the Landhi area, the police said.
"We have received three dead bodies, including that of Shakil Ahmed," said Doctor Semi Jamali, who is the head of the emergency department at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital.
Ahmed was supported by a faction of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
"Unknown gunmen opened fire on Shakil Ahmed and he [and] two other supporters were killed on the spot. They were in the Landhi area of Karachi for an election meeting," said Khalid Hamid, the spokesman for the MQM faction which Ahmed was aligned with.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police officials say the prime suspects are Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants, who have carried out similar attacks in the past.
Pakistan will hold elections on May 11 for 272 directly elected seats of the National Assembly. An additional 70 seats -- 60 for women and 10 for non-Muslims -- are allocated on the basis of a party’s share in the directly elected seats.
Elections for a total of 577 seats in the four provincial assemblies will be held on the same day.
The TTP previously announced that they would target the election rallies of three political parties, the Awami National Party (ANP), the MQM, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
Since April 11, at least 130 people have been killed and hundreds of others have been injured in Taliban attacks across Pakistan.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since the US-led war in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001.