KARACHI- Unknown gunmen today shot and killed Dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi Professor Dr Shakeel Auj in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi.

According to the Vice Chancellor of Karachi University, Dr Shakeel Auj was critically injured when four unidentified assailants ambushed his car near Baitul Mukarram Mosque in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. He was rushed to Agha Khan Hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

He was accompanied by Professor Dr Tahir Masood when he was attacked and was on his way to Khana-e-Farhang to attend a ceremony organized to honor him. Fortunately, Dr Tahir Masood remained safe during the incident and shifted his injured colleague to the hospital who couldn't survive the attack.

It is pertinent to mention that the government of Pakistan had recently announced to honor both the scholars with the second highest civilian award, Hilal-e-Imtiaz. According to reports, Dr Auj was shot three times in the neck and chest.

Taking notice of the incident, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad ordered Inspector General of Sindh Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali to submit a report on the incident. Police were investigating motives behind the apparent targeted attack. Officials said 9mm pistol was used in the attack. An investigation committee

of police has been formed under DIG East to probe the murder.

As news of Dr Auj's death was confirmed, it was announced that Karachi University would remain closed for three days.

Dr Mohammad Shakeel Auj was an author, a professor and dean at Karachi University's faculty of Islamic Studies. He also used to edit Al-Tafseer, an HEC recognised research journal on Islamic Studies.

He has been associated with KU for 19 years and had been heading the Islamic Studies department since February 1, 2012. According to the university's website, Dr Auj has written 15 books. Upon receiving the shocking news, meanwhile, teachers at the KU and other universities of Sindh suspended academic activities to mourn assassination of their colleague.

A large number of the Karachi University (KU) students and teachers took out a rally against killing of Dr Shakil Auj and demanded immediate arrest of the killers.