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A Pakistani politician was shot dead in Karachi in the second such killing in a week, police said Wednesday, fuelling fears that violence may overshadow general elections expected this year.

 Mian Taimur was a leader in the southern province of Sindh for the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the country's main opposition party led by former premier Nawaz Sharif.

"Mian Taimur and his father died when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on their vehicle," said police spokesman Imran Shaukat.

The attack late Tuesday took place in the upscale neighbourhood of Defence. Taimur was the party's deputy secretary in Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital.

The police spokesman said nine other people were shot dead in targeted killings across the city over the last 24 hours.

A security official confirmed the toll and said a doctor was among the dead.

Last Thursday Manzar Imam, a provincial lawmaker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement which is a coalition partner in government, was killed with three of his guards in Karachi.

The city of 18 million, which is Pakistan's business hub, last year saw its deadliest year in two decades, with around 2,000 people killed in violence linked to ethnic and political tensions.

Pakistan is expected to hold elections by mid-May with the federal parliament due to disband by mid-March. The polls will mark the first democratic transition between two civilian governments in Pakistani history.

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