QUETTA: Unidentified gunmen shot dead six people, including a police official, here on Sunday, police officials said.
A group of armed men riding on two motorbikes opened fire on people sitting in a shop in Sarki area of Quetta. According to police, four people, including a father and his son who were sitting inside a welding shop on Essa Khan Road were killed on the spot.
“They entered a welding shop when workers were having their lunch and killed five people,” senior police officer Jahangir Shah said, adding that the dead included four members of the Hazara community and one passer-by.
Before fleeing they also opened fire on a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding a police official, Shah said.
A heavy contingent of police and Frontier Corps (FC) reached the crime scene and cordoned off the area while the deceased and injured were taken to the Sandeman Provincial Hospital, Quetta where one of the policemen succumbed to his injures upon arrival at hospital.
According to sources, two of the assailants were also injured in retaliatory firing by the police but they escaped from the scene of the crime.
“Four of the victims belonged to the Shia community and it could be a case of sectarian target killing,” a senior police official said.
The deceased were identified as Haji Abdul Nabi and his son Mohammad Hassan, Mohammad Tariq and Abdul Manan.
The passerby was identified as Naqeebullah and the police constable as Hayatullah.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. A case has been registered against the unidentified persons and an investigation is under way. Sunday’s attack came as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani flew to Quetta to discuss the law and order situation in the province, officials said.
(With additional input from AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2012.
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