QUETTA: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a bus stand in southwestern Pakistan in Quetta on Friday, killing seven Shia pilgrims and injuring 12, waiting to travel to neighbouring Iran at the office of a transportation company, police said.
A group of pilgrims were waiting to travel to the border town of Taftan when the assailants arrived at the office on Saryab Road and opened fire, Express 24/7 correspondent Muhammad Kazim reported.
The dead include two Uzbeks and one Iranian national, senior police official Hamid Shakeel told Reuters.
The transport company runs buses from Quetta to Taftan, a city that borders Iran, he said.
The injured have been injured to Bolan Medical Complex. Two of the injured are reported to be in serious condition.
Officials said the attack could be an incident of sectarian violence.
“The attackers came on motorcycle and opened fire on the pilgrims. All seven Shia pilgrims were killed on the spot,” Farid Breach, a senior police officer, told AFP.
“It was a sectarian attack. The Shia pilgrims were the target.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident, which was confirmed by local intelligence officials.
A heavy contingent of police has been deployed in the area to control the law and order situation.
The attack was the latest violence in the province of Baluchistan, which is beset by deadly sectarian conflict, a separatist insurgency and Taliban militant activity.