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Pakistani MQM Founding Leader Farooq Killed in London

Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the nation’s third-largest political party, said Imran Farooq, one of its founding leaders, was killed in London.

Farooq was killed yesterday evening, MQM member Mohammad Anwar said by telephone from London. He had been living in exile and played little part in party affairs after falling out with MQM founder Altaf Hussain a couple of years ago, the Dawn newspaper reported on its website.

Political and communal killings have escalated this year in Karachi, the MQM’s stronghold, which is used as a hiding place by militants fleeing army attacks on the Taliban in the country’s northwest. Members of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, the MQM and the Awami National Party have died in gun battles in the city since the start of the year.

Police were called to Green Lane, Edgware, shortly before 5:30 p.m. following reports of a serious assault, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said by telephone. They found an Asian man, 50, suffering from stab wounds and head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:37 p.m., the spokesman said, declining to give the victim’s name in line with police procedures.

The MQM website announced 10 days of mourning for Farooq, whom it described as the party’s convenor.

Separately, policing arrangements for Pope Benedict XVI’s U.K. visit were today reviewed after five men were arrested in central London on suspicion of “the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism,” according to an e-mailed police statement.

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