Shia killing: TTP claims responsibility for Mansehra attack

10-12 people wearing army uniforms stopped bus, forced people to get off, then shot them dead at point blank range.

Our Correspondent/afp August 16, 2012

PESHAWAR/ DI KHAN: The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility of pulling 20 Shia from a bus and killing them at point blank range in Mansehra on Thursday.

In a message, TTP Dara Adam Khel/ Khyber Agency spokesman Muhammad Afridi said that the people killed were Shias who are involved in killing Sunnis against the will of Islam. “We will target them in the future,” he said.

Earlier during the day, gunmen pulled 20 Shias from a bus and shot them dead in the third such incident in six months, officials confirmed.

The incident happened in the northwestern district of Mansehra as the bus was travelling between Rawalpindi and Gilgit.

Officials said it was ambushed in the hills of Babusar Top, around 100 miles (160 kilometres) north of Islamabad, although they differed over details of the incident.

“Ten to 12 people wearing army uniform stopped the bus and forced some people off the bus,” said Khalid Omarzai, administration chief in Mansehra.

“After checking their papers, they opened fire and at least 20 people are reported to have been killed. This is initial information and the final toll may go up. They are all Shias,” he said.

Local police official Shafiq Gul told AFP that the gunmen were masked, but said the victims were pulled from three separate vehicles in the district, which neighbours the Swat valley, a former Taliban stronghold.

“They stopped three vehicles, searched them and picked up people in three batches of five, six and nine and shot them dead. They were all Shias,” he said.

Sectarian violence linked to Gilgit, a popular tourist destination for wealthy Pakistanis and expatriates who live in the country, has increased in recent months.

It is the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan and is popular with mountaineers as a gateway to the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges.

On February 28, gunmen in military fatigues hauled 18 Shiite Muslim men off buses travelling from Rawalpindi to Gilgit in the northern district of Kohistan, shooting them dead in cold blood.

On April 3, a Sunni Muslim mob dragged nine Shia Muslims from buses and also shot them dead in the town of Chilas, about 60 miles south of Gilgit.

Human rights groups have heavily criticised Pakistan for failing to crack down on sectarian violence between the country’s majority Sunni and minority Shiite communities that has killed thousands.

Correction: An earlier version of this article had wrongly reported that the passengers were Sunnis. The error is deeply regretted. The reporter's copy has been replaced with an AFP copy.


Prof Najmey | 11 years ago | Reply

Dear Readers, Shia or Sunni. I'm a 64 year old professor, shia by birth, have been listening to Sunni and Shia speakers. One I asked a Shia as to why he keeps speaking ill of Sunnis? Don't they go to Masajids, recite the Holy Qur'an, observe (Celebrate is not a proper word) Mahay Syyaam more fervently as we.. The attend punctually Traveeh, we Shias don't. Is their anything lacking in them following Islamic tenets? The other day I approached a learned Sunni Maulana, told him who I was: asked him,the same questions. He was a highly educated and thorough Sunni Muslim, his reply was almost the same as that of the Shia's. Finally he lamented that The miscreants are not qualified enough to utter anything against any. the quacks of both sided want money, One day I showed both of the clippings of Zionist press, and their Anti-Christian and Anti-Muslim schemes. It's not Jews but Zionist, who've billions of dollars to flood Muslims of 3rd word, with the La aanty claim that these Muslims are greedy and swallow their bait in, no time.. DOES REAL ISLAM SUPPORTS BLOODSHED, AND/OR LABELING ANY ONE,EVEN A KAAFIR AS KAFFIR????

Yawar | 11 years ago | Reply

Shame on the Pakistani law enforcing and intelligence agencies. These monters were created by our agencies with aid from the Americans and the Saudis. This is a slap on the face of Islamic Republic of Pakistan where we have failed to protect our people, our self-respect and our dignity. We are a nation of shameless leaders and a general population who do not care unless their own homes are set alight. Wake up Pakistan before we become history and our shameless leaders live happily far away.

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