Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying minority Shias in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, killing at least four persons, including a boy. Eight members of the Hazara Shia community, including two women, were coming to Quetta from Chaman town on the Afghan border. The had stopped at a petrol station to refuel their vehicle.
In the meantime, two men on a motorcycle opened indiscriminate fire on them, killing three persons on the spot and injuring three others, including the boy, the Express Tribune reported. While two women travelling with them remained unhurt as they were sitting in the vehicle when the attackers opened fire on the men who were standing outside. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. A senior police officer said that the members of the community had come to Chaman from Afghanistan. The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital in Quetta, where the boy succumbed to his injuries, police said. Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri expressed grief at the incident and strongly condemned the terrorist attack. He directed authorities that the culprits should be arrested and brought to justice. The Hazaras are Shiite community who live in Balochistan and Afghanistan. They are considered as heretics by Sunni extremist groups and often targeted. This is not the first time that the Hazara Shia Muslim community has been targeted by extremist outfits in Balochistan and in the last few years hundreds have been killed in either suicide bomb attacks, planted bomb blasts or target killings. Official reports say that they have been around 1200 incidents of violence against the Hazara community in the last 15 years. In July, gunmen killed 4 members of Shiite family, driver in the Mastung area. In March, an explosion targeting a convoy of the security forces occurred on Saryab Road. Four people were injured including three Frontier Corps personnel and a passer-by. In October last year, gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Hazara men and women in Quetta. Four women were killed in that attack.
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