Two members of the hazara community were shot dead near Brewery Road in the provincial capital on Saturday morning as violence against the community continued unabated.
According to the police, the victims were passing through the Brewery Road on a motorbike when an unknown assailant opened fire, killing them instantly.
“A man on foot opened fire at the men riding the motorbike,” local police official Amir Dasti said. He added that an investigation was under way.
Upon receiving the information of the killings, a heavy contingent of police and other law enforcement agencies reached the scene of the crime and shifted the bodies to Bolan Medical Complex. The deceased were identified as Boban Ali and Hussain Ali, both residents of Hazara Town.
Sources in the hospital said the victims had sustained bullet wounds in the head and chest.
The Frontier Corps (FC) claims to have arrested three suspects alleged to be behind the killings and have seized arms from their possession.
According to the FC, there were multiple attackers. Its spokesperson said the suspects had been arrested after FC personnel chased down the assailants with the help of locals. “The attackers, after targeting two persons, tried to escape from the scene. Security forces chased the killers with the help of local people,” stated a press release.
The two suspects were identified as Guharam Soori Khan and Mian Khan. Later, interrogation led to the arrest of another suspect. The suspects have been handed over to the police for further investigation.
Balochistan FC Inspector General Major General Ubaidullah Khan lauded FC’s timely action saying “the perpetrators will not escape if local people continue to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.”
Meanwhile, angry protesters belonging to the Hazara community staged a demonstration on the same road where the incident took place. They blocked traffic and torched tyres in the street, chanting slogans against the government and law enforcement agencies for their failure in protecting the Hazara community.
Two bullet-riddled bodies were also found in the Bostan area of Pishin district, some 45 kilometres from Quetta, in a separate incident.
According to an official from the Balochistan Levies, passers-by spotted the bodies in a desolate place and informed the Levies station. Levies personnel rushed to the scene and shifted the bodies to Civil Hospital, Pishin. Identities of the deceased are yet to be ascertained.
Officials in the hospital said the bodies had sustained multiple torture marks and were partially mutilated.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.