PESHAWAR - A serving colonel of the Pakistan Army was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in posh area of Hayatabad near Peshawar on Sunday.

Police said the incident took place in Hayatabad Phase-3 in the afternoon where unidentified armed men riding a motorcycle opened fire on Colonel Mohammad Tahir Azeem when he came out of a mosque in Abaseen Market after offering Zohr Prayers.

Hailing from Kaga Wala Badhaber area of Peshawar and deployed in 72 combat support signal Rawalpindi, Colonel Tahir was in the city to attend a wedding ceremony of a relative. After attending the wedding, Colonel Tahir offered Zohr Prayers and as he came out of the mosque two masked attackers riding a bike targeted him. He received multiple bullet injuries.

The targeted official of Pakistan Army was rushed to Hayatabad Medical Complex in critical condition where he succumbed to his injuries.

The attackers managed to escape from the scene after committing the crime.

Soon after the incident, heavy contingent of police and security forces reached the scene and cordoned off the area, besides launching a search operation. However, no arrest was made till filing of this report. Police have registered an FIR against unidentified attackers and started investigation into the incident.

It has been learnt that Colonel Tahir’s two brothers - Shakeel and Waqas - were also killed by unidentified men in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Agencies add: Some reports, however, said the incident took place when Colonel Tahir was travelling in his vehicle from a mosque to his residence.

“We were told the man was a serving colonel and deployed in Rawalpindi. He came to Peshawar to attend a wedding and was targeted near Abaseen Market,” said a local policeman.

He said this appeared to be a case of target killing, but added the situation would become clearer once an FIR is lodged by the victim’s relatives.