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PESHAWAR: A national assembly candidate in Pakistan’s election next week was shot and killed on Wednesday in the tribal district along Afghan border, police said, amid fears of an uptick in violence around the parliamentary vote.

Rehan Zaib Khan, an independent candidate in the February 8 election who had claimed to be supported by former prime minister Imran Khan’s party, and four aides were shot in Bajur district, said police officer Rasheed Khan.

He said Rehan Zaib Khan died at a local hospital and his aides were in a critical condition.

Imran Khan and his wife Bushra were jailed for 14 years in a graft case, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said on Wednesday.

Khan’s party has been stripped of its traditional electoral symbol, a cricket bat, on technical grounds, and its candidates are contesting the election as independents.

PTI’s provincial president Atif Khan said Rehan Zaib Khan was a party member but the PTI had another candidate in the constituency with its official backing.

In absence of the party symbol on the ballot, several independent candidates are claiming to have Khan’s party support.

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