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Pakistani Transgender Woman Killed, Another Wounded In Shooting

Pakistani transgender people and activists protest to condemn the killing in Peshawar in August 2018.

Pakistani officials say unidentified gunmen have shot and killed a transgender woman in the northwest city of Peshawar, in the latest violence to target the long-oppressed community.

The attack occurred late on September 8 in on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

A group of transgender women were returning home after performing at a wedding function when unidentified gunmen opened fire on them, police said.

One of them, identified as Gul Panra, was killed in the attack, while at least another one was wounded.

A local police official was quoted as saying four suspects had been detained in connection with the shooting, which sparked anger on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForGulPanra trending on Twitter in the country.

Transgender people, known officially as "third-gender" citizens in Pakistan -- a group that includes cross-dressers, transsexuals, eunuchs, hermaphrodites, and transvestites -- face widespread violence, intimidation, and abuse despite multiple laws passed to protect them.

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The community, estimated to number around 500,000, is known in the Urdu language as "hijras."

Many describe themselves as "professional wedding dancers," but supporters say they are many times forced to earn income through begging and prostitution.

Following their official third-gender classification handed down by the Supreme Court in 2011, members of the community were granted the rights to vote and run for office.

Based on reporting by AFP and Dawn