QUETTA: At least four people, including three Hazara Shias were killed and nine others, including two women, were injured in three separate incidents of ‘sectarian’ violence in Quetta on Monday.
In the first incident, local trader Anwar Ali Hazara was gunned down by unknown armed men on Fatima Jinnah Road on Monday morning.
Following the attack, members of the Hazara community staged a protest against the killing. They also resorted to aerial firing, forcing shopkeepers to close their shops.
Later on, unidentified armed men opened fire at two separate buildings on Jinnah Road in minutes apart, leaving three people dead and nine others injured.
“Unknown assailants opened firing at Saleem Complex shooting dead two men belonging to the Hazara community,” said police, who added that law enforcement agencies along with rescue workers rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area.
The dead and injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital and Combined Military Hospital in the city.
Minutes later, unknown persons opened indiscriminate firing in Kabir Building, injuring four people.
The attackers managed to flee the scene after the attacks.
“At least four people, including three belonging to the Hazara community, were killed while nine others were injured in three separate firing incidents,” SSP Operation Atizaz Guraya said.
Following the attacks, the provincial home department immediately imposed a ban on pillion riding in the city for at least a week. A police spokesperson said that the motive behind Monday’s attacks appeared to be sectarian in nature.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Malik Baloch also condemned the killings.
“Elements are attempting to disturb the peace of the provincial capital but the government won’t allow anyone to violate the law,” said the chief minister.
“Our collation government is very keen to establish peace in Balochistan and we are on-board with law enforcement agencies against the sectarian violence.”
Majlis Wahdat e Muslimeen (MWM) and Balochistan Shia Conference staged a sit-in in front of IG police office, demanding the immediate arrest of culprits behind the killings.
IG Police Balochistan Muhammad Amleesh Khan assured the demonstrators that police was taking all possible measures to arrest the attackers, adding that police have lodged cases against unknown persons.