Gunmen have shot dead the prosecutor investigating the murder of Pakistan’s ex-leader Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007.

Police said Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali was ambushed as he was driving from his Islamabad home to a court hearing in the Bhutto case in Rawalpindi.

Police have not speculated on a reason for the shooting.

Chaudhry Zulfiqar was also the top prosecutor in a case related to the attacks in Mumbai, India, in 2008.

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been accused of failing to provide adequate security for Bhutto at the time of her death.

Mr Musharraf, who recently returned to Pakistan after living abroad, is being held under house arrest while the claims against him are investigated. He denies the allegations.

No-one has ever been convicted over the murder of Ms Bhutto.

Police said Chaudhry Zulfiqar was on his way to the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi for a hearing on Friday morning when his car was ambushed.

The attackers on a motorcycle sprayed the car with bullets, badly injuring the prosecutor who later died in hospital.

A hospital spokesman said Chaudhry Zulfiqar had been hit by more than seven bullets from the front and side, including one to the head.

A woman pedestrian also died after being hit by Chaudhry Zulfiqar’s car after the driver lost control of it, officials said.

Police Supt Jameel Hashmi said one of the prosecutor’s bodyguards, who was injured in the incident, had showed “great valour”.

“We have got evidence from several witnesses but we cannot disclose anything at this stage,” he added.

The attackers fled the scene.

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that lawyers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have announced a strike over the killing.

The claims against Mr Musharraf date back several years.

A UN inquiry in 2010 found that Bhutto’s murder could have been prevented, and that Mr Musharraf’s government did not provide her with proper security.

Prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him in February 2011.

He had been in self-imposed exile for several years, but returned to Pakistan in March to try to stand in the forthcoming election.

When the authorities arrested Mr Musharraf last week, Chaudhry Zulfiqar described the accusations as aiding and abetting Bhutto’s killing.

Mr Musharraf had blamed Bhutto’s killing on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement.

Mr Musharraf’s political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, condemned the prosecutor’s killing.

“We vehemently condemn Chaudhry Zulfiqar’s murder by armed attackers and seek immediate investigation into the incident which may affect Pervez Musharraf’s trial in Benazir case,” said party spokesman Muhammad Amjad.

Chaudhry Zulfiqar was also pursuing seven suspected militants over the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was blamed for the attacks, in which 166 people were killed.

Pakistan has been plagued by violence in the run-up to a general election on 11 May.

A candidate for the Awami National Party (ANP), Sadiq Zaman Khattak, was shot dead in the city of Karachi on Friday, police and local media said.