QUETTA: Four members of a family belonging to the Shia Hazara community were killed in a gun attack apparently motivated by sectarian hatred in Mastung district of Balochistan on Wednesday.
Gunmen ambushed a Karachi-bound car carrying the Hazara family in the Choto area, some 40 kilometres south of Quetta, according to police.
“The gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on the vehicle with automatic weapon when it slowed down at a speed-breaker. Four people of the family, including a woman, were killed and another man was wounded,” Abdul Qudoos, the SHO of the local police station, said.
Qudoos cited sectarian motives for the grisly attack because, according to him, the family had no enmity.
DPO Ghazanfar Ali Shah said the appeared to be pre-planned and the gunmen had received information about the movement of the family from Quetta. “The attack involved three gunmen who were riding motorcycles and fired at the car from two sides.”
Abdul Sattar, who was injured in the ambush, was taken to a local hospital where medics referred him to the Trauma Centre of the Civil Hospital for treatment of his life-threatening wounds.
Two Hazara community members gunned down in Quetta
The deceased have been identified as Murtaza, Ghulam Sarwar, Zehra Begum and her son Habibullah. The casualties were brought to Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani Memorial Hospital in Mastung for identification.
After medico-legal formalities, the bodies were handed over to relatives for burial.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Police cordoned off the area and found 39 empty shells of 9mm handgun. The 9mm pistol is normally used in target killing by terrorists in all parts of Pakistan.
Members of HDP and MWM staged protests outside the Quetta Press Club and on the Alamdar Road against the killings and demanded immediate action against the culprits.
Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri and Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti strongly condemned the incident and termed it "against the social and tribal norms of Balochistan".
(With additional input from AFP)