By Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam, Asif Shahzad and Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE (Reuters) -Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot within the shin on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy got here below assault within the east of the nation in what his aides mentioned was a transparent assassination try by his rivals.

Khan, ousted as prime minister in a parliamentary confidence vote in April, was six days right into a protest procession sure for Islamabad, standing and waving to hundreds of cheering supporters from the roof of a container truck, when the photographs rang out.

A number of in his convoy had been wounded within the assault in Wazirabad, practically 200 km (120 miles) from the capital. Data Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb mentioned a suspect had been arrested.

"It was a transparent assassination try. Khan was hit however he is steady. There was a number of bleeding," Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesperson for Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) occasion, advised Reuters.

"If the shooter had not been stopped by individuals there, your entire PTI management would have been worn out."

One other Khan aide, Asad Umar, mentioned medical doctors had advised him that their chief was out of hazard.

In a video assertion, Umar mentioned Khan believed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and intelligence official Main-Basic Faisal Naseer had been behind the assault. Umar didn't present any proof to again the allegation.

Aurangzeb, who speaks for the federal government, didn't reply to a request for touch upon the allegation. Sharif condemned the capturing and ordered a direct investigation.

The army’s media wing didn't instantly reply to a request for touch upon the allegation in opposition to Naseer.

In a earlier assertion, the army referred to as the capturing "extremely condemnable". Khan, 70, had accused the army of backing the plan to oust him from energy. Final week, the army held a information convention to disclaim the claims.

"I heard a burst of bullet photographs after which I noticed Imran Khan and his aides fall down on the truck," witness Qazzafi Butt advised Reuters.

"Later, a gunman shot a single shot however was grabbed by an activist of Khan's occasion."

In purported footage of the capturing, being run by a number of channels however unverified by Reuters, a person with a handgun is grabbed from behind by one of many individuals on the gathering. He then tries to flee.

TV channels confirmed a suspected shooter, who seemed to be in his twenties or thirties. He mentioned he needed to kill Khan and had acted alone.

"He (Khan) was deceptive the individuals, and I could not bear it," the suspect mentioned within the video. The data minister confirmed the footage was recorded by police.

Nobody has but been charged with the assault.

Khan - who was after his removing from workplace convicted by Pakistan's election fee of promoting state items unlawfully, expenses that he denied - had been whipping up giant crowds on his method to Islamabad in a marketing campaign to topple Sharif's authorities.

One member of Khan's occasion mentioned there have been experiences one individual had been killed within the assault.

PROTESTERS ON STREETS

Good-looking and charismatic, Khan first grabbed worldwide consideration as a cricketer within the early 1970s.

First often known as an aggressive fast-paced bowler with a particular leaping motion, he went on to change into one of many world's greatest all-rounders and a hero in cricket-mad Pakistan, captaining a crew of wayward stars with bleak prospects to one-day World Cup victory in 1992.

His first spouse, Jemima Goldsmith, who lives in Britain, expressed reduction on Twitter.

"The information we dread ... Thank God he is okay," she wrote. "And thanks from his sons to the heroic man within the crowd who tackled the gunman."

Pakistan has a protracted historical past of political violence. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December 2007 in a gun and bomb assault after holding an election rally within the metropolis of Rawalpindi, subsequent to Islamabad.

Her father and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged in the identical metropolis in 1979 after being deposed in a army coup.

Native media on Thursday confirmed footage of Khan waving to the group after being evacuated from his automobile after the capturing as individuals ran and shouted.

He was taken to hospital in Lahore as protesters poured out on to streets in some elements of the nation and PTI leaders demanded justice.

PTI colleague Faisal Javed, who was additionally wounded and had blood stains on his garments, advised Geo TV from the hospital: "A number of of our colleagues are wounded. We heard that certainly one of them is useless."

Since being ousted, Khan has held rallies throughout Pakistan, stirring opposition in opposition to a authorities that's struggling to carry the financial system out of the disaster that Khan's administration left it in.

He had deliberate to steer the motorised caravan slowly north up the Grand Trunk Highway to Islamabad, drawing extra assist alongside the way in which earlier than coming into the capital.

"I need that each one of you take part. This isn't for politics or private acquire, or to topple the federal government... that is to carry real freedom to the nation," Khan mentioned in a video message on the eve of the march.

(Extra reporting by Aftab Ahmed, Sudipto Ganguly and Tanvi Mehta; Writing by Krishna N. Das; Modifying by John Stonestreet and Nick Macfie)

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