Unidentified gunmen kill 6 people in Quetta
Unidentified gunmen today indiscriminately opened fire at a shop in Quetta killing six people, including four members of the minority Shia community, just ahead of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's visit to Pakistan's southwest city.
Five persons were killed instantly while a policeman succumbed to his injuries while being taken to hospital, witnesses and officials said. "It is not clear why the attack was carried out but initial investigations show that the gunmen who came on two motorcycles walked into the shop and opened indiscriminate fire in the Sarki area," a senior police official, Jahangir Shah told PTI.
He said that four of the men killed belonged to the minority Shia Hazara community. A passerby was also killed in the incident. He said as the attackers were fleeing two policemen on duty close by challenged them but were fired upon leaving one dead and the other injured.
Shopkeepers left their shops and ran to save their lives, as the wave of panic prevailed in the market, officials said. Footage on television showed bodies and the injured being taken to the Civil Hospital in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, by volunteers and rescue service officials.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out shortly before the arrival of Prime Minister Gilani. The premier is scheduled to chair a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation in Balochistan and sensitive issues like the case of "missing persons" or those detained without charge by security and intelligence agencies.
Civil society groups have alleged that hundreds of people have been detained by security agencies for alleged links to insurgent groups. The bodies of over 200 "missing persons" have been found across Balochistan in recent months.
The last week has seen bloody violence in not only Quetta but also in Pakistan's biggest city and financial hub, Karachi, where around 35 people have been killed including activists of the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement and ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.
In the last seven days, police say around 35 people lost their lives in target killings in different parts of the city with three more bodies were found in gunny bags today.