LAHORE, Pakistan – Pakistan's interior minister underwent two surgeries and was in stable condition Monday after being shot the previous day by a gunman whose motive remains unclear, officials said.
The chief physician at the Lahore hospital where Ahsan Iqbal is being treated said the bullet fractured his right arm, then ricocheted and lodged in his abdomen. Dr. Mohammad Ameer said surgeons opted not to remove the bullet as that would have entailed a more dangerous procedure.
The gunman, who police identified as Abid Hussain, shot Iqbal as the minister was returning to his car after meeting with constituents, and was immediately arrested. It's not clear what motivated the attack, but the gunman has been linked to a group of religious hard-liners who rallied in Islamabad earlier this year.
The Labaik Ya Rasoolallah group blocked a main intersection linking the capital with the nearby city of Rawalpindi for 20 days to protest the omission of religious language from a parliamentary bill. The protesters agreed to disperse in return for the resignation of the law minister.
Pakistan's political and military leadership condemned the attack on the interior minister, as did the U.S. Embassy. Authorities have launched an investigation into the attack and any possible security lapses.