Gunmen killed five people in three separate drive-by shootings in the provincial capital of Balochistan on Saturday.
Police said the first incident took place at Manu Jan Road where gunmen opened fire on two men sitting in a barber shop, killing them instantly. The victims were identified as Muhammad Rafique and Muhammad Shafiq, both residents of Muzaffargarh in Punjab.
It was a targeted attack possibly motivated by ethnic hatred. Baloch insurgents have frequently targeted members of other ethnic groups, from Punjab in particular, whom they call ‘settlers’. The bodies of the victims were handed to their families after medico-legal formalities.
In the second incident, gunmen targeted workers at a welding shop located on Zarghoon Road. The assailants opened fire just as the workers were having lunch. Two men, identified as Salman and Mohsin, died on the spot while three others – Waqar, Irshad and Naeem – sustained injuries. “The casualties were shifted to the Civil Hospital,” said an official at the Industrial police station. The motive behind the shooting remains unclear.
Separately, unidentified gunmen shot dead a man, Rehmatullah, at the Eastern Bypass in the third drive-by shooting of the day. Police shifted the body to the Civil Hospital for an autopsy. According to an official, separate cases have been registered in the respective police stations and investigations are under way.
Taking notice of the violence, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the incidents and directed the city administration to net the criminals behind the attacks at the earliest. He ordered the authorities to tighten security measures and protect the lives and assets of the masses.
243 suspects rounded up
Police rounded up 243 suspects in overnight raids in the Pashtoonabad and Satellite Town neighbourhoods of the city. The suspects have been detained in connection with the twin attacks on policemen this past week.
According to a police spokesman, a huge cache of arms and ammunitions, including 9mm pistols, shotguns, TT pistols and bullet rounds were seized during the crackdown.
A deadly attack on a police van that left four law enforcers dead on June 6 was followed up by the slaying of four policemen including an ASI in Pashtoonabad area on June 11.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2015.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ