Quetta - An independent provincial assembly candidate, Abdul Fateh Magsi along with three companions was shot dead and two others sustained serious injuries on Tuesday in an armed attack in Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan.

The heirs of Fateh Magsi claimed that 27 people of their clan who were in his fleet were also missing after the incident. According to the local administration, an armed clash erupted between the two groups, resulting in the killings of Abdul Fateh Magsi, Abdur Rashid, Rabin Khan and Jani Laskani while two others received serious wounds.

Contradicting the version of the local administration, the relatives of the slain candidate held Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi’s family responsible for the incident.

Sources said Abdul Fateh Magsi who was contesting election as an independent candidate from PB-32 Jhal Magsi district was heading towards Jhal Magsi early in the morning from Sangan area in connection with his election campaign when armed men opened indiscriminate fire on his convoy. “Fateh Magsi and his three companions were killed and two others wounded in the firing,” they added.

Tension escalated in the area after the incident upon which a heavy contingent of security personnel rushed to the site to control the situation.

When contacted, Jhal Magsi Deputy Commissioner Saeed Umrani said the administration received information that two groups were firing on each targets after taking positions near Jhal Magsi town. “The local administration and law-enforcement agencies rushed to the site to control the situation, however, three people had already been killed,” he said, adding hundreds of people were firing on each other.

The Jhal Magsi DC said when the gun battle was brought to end by using tribal influence, three persons were found dead. Later, one of them was identified as Abdul Fateh Magsi.

However, the cousin of Abdul Fateh Magsi, Altaf Magsi held Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi’s relatives responsible for the incident and claimed that 27 people who were accompanying the convoy of Fateh Magsi were still missing.

“Fateh Magsi was returning from Sanga after holding an election meeting there when the Levies personnel stopped them and told them that the members of Nawab Magsi’s family wanted to talk to them. When the convoy stopped, suddenly indiscriminate fire started, killing Fateh Magsi and three others while 27 persons are still missing,” Altaf Magsi claimed.

It may be recalled here that Abdul Fateh Magsi from Shabani clan of Magsi, addressing a press conference in Quetta a few days back, said that he had been receiving life threats. He had also demanded transfer of the local administration, but no one in the district administration was transferred.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Jhal Magsi, the elders of Shabani clan of Magsi tribe, including Muhammad Ramzan and Raza Magsi, said that some influential people had staged this bloody drama to make Jhal Magsi a no-go area. They said no FIR had so far been registered, demanding immediate release of those who had been ‘kidnapped’. They also demanded the chief justice of Pakistan and the Election Commission take notice of the incident

On the other hand, Balochistan Election Commissioner Syed Sultan Bayazid, talking to media persons after the incident, said the polls on PB-32 had been postponed, adding notification in this regard was yet to be issued.

Agencies add: According to AFP, Abdul Fateh Magsi was killed in an exchange of fire with security forces. “The security forces signalled to Abdul Fateh Magsi and his guards to stop at a checkpost, but they did not. At this, they exchanged fire and Magsi and his two guards were killed,” Balochistan home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP.

Meanwhile, unknown armed men kidnapped a cousin of caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Tuesday in Kandhkot, a city in neighbouring Sindh.

According to details, unidentified gunmen intercepted the vehicle of Rahim Baksh Khoso, a cousin of the caretaker prime minister, on Thal-Indus Highway in Kandkot area of Sindh and took him away in their vehicle.

Hundreds of people blocked Indus Highway and held demonstration against the kidnapping. They chanted slogans against the law enforcement authorities, demanding early recovery of the victim.