The son of former Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was kidnapped at gunpoint during an election rally. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.
The son of former Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was kidnapped at gunpoint during an election rally on Thursday, officials said.
Ali Haider Gilani, whose father was prime minister from 2008 to 2012, was seized by several armed men in Multan in central Pakistan. The Gilanis are members of the liberal PPP party.
Punjab government official Rao Iftikhar Ahmad told The Associated Press that one of Gilani's guards was killed and five people were wounded in the attack. The figures could not immediately be confirmed by NBC News.
"One of the gunmen grabbed Haider who had blood splashed on his trousers," witness Shehryar Ali told Pakistani television broadcaster Geo News.
An intelligence official said that authorities were hunting "four to five kidnappers in a black car."
Fawad Hussein / EPA, file
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is seen here in 2011. His son was kidnapped on Thursday.
It was not immediately known who abducted Gilani or why. The Pakistani Taliban has vowed to disrupt Saturday's election.
Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said that candidates, party leaders and activists would be attacked by dozens of suicide bombers and other fighters.
The militants have warned people to stay away from polling stations on the day of the vote and warned government officials not to carry out election duties.
Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, has written a letter to the Election Commission, demanding better security for liberal parties.
Since April, the Pakistani Taliban have killed more than 70 people in attacks targeting three major political parties, preventing many of their most prominent candidates from openly campaigning, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The Taliban say they are targeting "secular" parties and that elections only "serve the interests of infidels and enemies of Islam," the news service said. Right-wing religious parties that have joined the election race have been largely left alone by the militants.
On Tuesday, former cricket star Imran Khan, who is now the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was injured in a fall from a platform at an election rally.
Saturday's election will mark the first time in the country's 65-year history that a legislature has completed its term, paving the way for the possibility of a peaceful transition of power from one civilian government to the next.
NBC News' Mushtaq Yusufzai and Ian Johnston, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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