A group of armed men opened fire on a bus carrying pilgrims from Balochistan to Iran, killing two people and injuring nine others on Wednesday.
The attack occurred near the western bypass near Quetta.
The passenger coach, which was on its way from Quetta to Taftan, was carrying 50 passengers when it was attacked near the Akhtarabad area.
The assailants are said to have escaped after the attack. Police and other law-enforcement agencies took the bodies and the injured to the Bolan Medical College Hospital, sources at the hospital said.
“Most of the passengers belonged to the Shia community and the attack seemed to be motivated by sectarianism. One of the deceased and six of the injured people were Shia,” a senior police officer said.
Witnesses said most of the passengers were pilgrims on their way to Iran. “There were three attackers wearing black clothes, who escaped towards the mountains,” a witness said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, DIG (Operations) Hamid Shakil said the passengers did not inform the police ahead of their journey, otherwise they could have been provided security. “Police escort Shias across the more volatile areas in Quetta,” he added. As many as 13 people, including Olympian boxer Sayed Abrar Hussain Shah, from the Shia community have been gunned down during the past two months in Quetta.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2011.
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