Islamabad: Ten persons, including six
members of the minority Shia community and two UN employees,
were killed and several others injured in incidents of
violence in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province on Thursday.
Suspected militants riding a motorcycle opened fire at a
van in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, killing six
persons, including a woman.
Shia groups said all those killed belonged to the
minority Hazara community and described the attack as an
incident of target killing.
Five persons were injured in the attack. They were taken
to two hospitals in Quetta.
Police said the slain persons were heading to work when
the van was attacked at Spini Road. The gunmen fled after the
attack and no group claimed responsibility for the incident.
Police officials said they suspected the involvement of
Soon after the attack, violent protests erupted at
several places in Quetta.
At least two persons, including a policeman, were killed
and several others injured in the incidents of firing.
Protesters burnt tyres to block roads. They also torched
several vehicles and a police post. Police used tear gas and
fired in the air to disperse protesters.
In a separate incident, suspected militants attacked a
vehicle of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Mastung
town this morning and killed two of its employees.
Another employee of the UN agency sustained serious
injuries in the attack, police said.
The motive behind the attack could not immediately be
No group claimed responsibility for the incident.
Following the attack on the Shias, Shia groups announced
three days of mourning and called for a strike in Quetta
tomorrow to condemn the incident.
The Tahafuz Azadari Council, Balochistan Shia Council and
Hazara Democratic Party warned of more protests if the killers
were not arrested.
Balochistan has been rocked by a wave of sectarian and
targeted killings in recent months.
First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 11:10