PESHAWAR - Unidentified assailants shot dead religious cleric Maulana Ismail Darwesh along with his bodyguard in Peshawar on Thursday, reported private TV channels.

Police said the incident took place in Phando area of Peshawar, adding that assailants riding on a motorcycle opened fire on Maulana Darwesh leaving him and his bodyguard critically injured. Lady Reading Hospital spokesperson, confirming the death, said Maulana Darwesh succumbed to his injuries before reaching hospital.

The Maulana was the former amir of defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba for district Peshawar.

Darwesh, who was also reportedly contesting by-elections from PK-78 as ASWJ candidate, had served multiple times as the party’s provincial chief. These days, the organisation had been dissolved with new elections planned.