Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Target Killings: Shia women martyred as gunmen attack bus in Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan (AhlulBayt News Agency) - At least four Shiite women were martyred and one injured when unidentified assailants opened fire on a bus on Kirani road near Pud Gali Chowk area of the provincial capital on Tuesday evening.

"The bus was stopped and the women were shot because of their religion," said provincial government's spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar.

Following the Muharram procession, security measures were already tightened in the capital city of Balochistan and the authorities had already imposed section 144 and ban pillion riding.

A senior police official also confirmed that the deceased women belonged to Shia Muslim community and were allegedly targeted due to their religion.

"It was a public transport bus and had eight women on board, out of which five were hit during the attack," said DIG Operations of Quetta police.

Police officials said the bus was travelling to Hazara Town when it was attacked by unidentified assailants.

Frontier Corps and police teams were dispatched to the area to control the situation. The injured were taken to Bolan Medical Hospital in Quetta for treatment and security in and around the hospital was tightened.

Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri condemned the incident.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, while addressing a press conference, said that Indian agency RAW's involvement can not be ruled out in the attack.

He added the terrorists picked a soft target, and all efforts would be made to arrest the culprits.

The four Shia Women martyrs are: 1. Maryam w/o Salman Ali D/o Ghulam Hussain, 2. Khatama w/o Mohammad Naeem d/o Salman Ali, 3. Maryam d/o Ali Khan, 4. unknown (looks like Hazara).

No group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Balochistan has been experiencing incident violence and targeted killings since more than a decade. More than 1,400 incidents targeting the minority Shia Muslims have taken place in the province during the past 15 years.

In May last year, 43 members of the Shiite community were killed when their bus was stopped and riddled with bullets in Karachi by militants claiming to be affiliated with the ISIS militants. 

Terrorism in Pakistan (Nasbi, Salafi) has targeted the Shi'ite and also Sunni community and there is no any exception. Shia and Sunni in Pakistan have much in common and recently their leaders had a unity conference in Peshawar call for interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence.

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