Bus carrying Shi’a Muslims attacked
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Islamabad - Gunmen opened fire at a bus carrying members of a minority Shi’a community in south-western Pakistan on Thursday, killing eight people, police said, in the worse sectarian attack in months.
At least five masked attackers riding motorcycles chased the bus on the outskirts of Quetta in restive Balochistan province. They dragged people out and killed them one by one, said police official Imran Qureshi.
All the victims belong to the Hazara community of minority Shi’a Muslims, whose members have regularly faced persecution and targeted killings in Pakistan's troubled south-western province bordering both Afghanistan and Iran.
Police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema said the area had been closed off in an attempt to find the attackers.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest sectarian violence since the Pakistani military launched an offensive against Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda in the north-west of the country in mid-June.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group of radical Sunni militants has been behind attacks on members of Hazara community in the past.
Around 200 000 Hazara people have fled violence in Balochistan in past couple of years, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. - Sapa-dpa