Four tradesmen hailing from the frequently-targeted Hazara community were gunned down and two passers-by were seriously wounded in a targeted killing incident in Quetta on Monday night.
Police officials said this was a sectarian assault.
The incident occurred just when the market area near Kaghan Hotel was bustling with activity a few minutes before the Iftar meal.
There were some reports that proscribed Sunni organisation, Jaish-ul-Islam, had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Raza Hussain, a Hazara community member, and owner of Ali Trading Center along with his three companions, was ambushed by armed men riding a motorbike, carrying sophisticated weapons.
The deceased and injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta.
Following the incident, Hazara community rushed to the Civil Hospital Quetta, blocked the Jinnah Road by placing barricades and shouted slogans against perpetrators and law enforcement agencies.
The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) condemned the killing of Hazara community members and announced a shutter-down strike to protest the incident.
HDP District Secretary Bostan Ali, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that “the killing of Hazara members is genocide”. He alleged that behind the sectarian targeted killing are secret agencies who are trying to create a civil war situation.
Moreover, Shia organisations in the province such as the Balochistan Shia Conference, Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen have announced a three-day mourning against the murder.
Expressing shock and grief, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai and Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch have also slammed the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.