About 20 people were on board a bus when Four Terrorist of Lashkar e Jhangvi riding two motorcycles intercepted the bus in the outskirts of Quetta enroute to Hazara Ganji. Our correspondent reported that the passengers were on their way to the fruit and vegetable market when the assailants opened fire.
Media reports stated that the passengers were lined up and subsequently shot by the assailants.
“The bus was carrying people mostly from the Shia Hazara community who were returning from Quetta,” senior police Hamid Shakeel told Reuters.
Police have cordoned off the area and the dead/injured were being rushed to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) as Bolan Medical Complex to which they were shifted earlier lacked emergency treatment facilities, said last reports
“The death toll has risen to 14. Two of the injured who were in critical condition died in hospital. Now 13 Shiite Muslims and one Pashtun have been killed in the attack,” he said after initially putting the death toll at 10.
Meanwhile, police have cordoned off the area and initial investigations of the incident is underway.
Sectarian violence is on the rise in Quetta as 26 Shia pilgrims were killed in a firing incident last month in Mastung, about 30 kilometres southeast of Quetta, when a group of armed men attacked a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Quetta to Iran.
The Mastung attack was claimed by banned militant outfit Laskar-e-Jhangvi.
Protest In Quetta
Up to 400 Shia Hazaras demonstrated outside the Bolan Medical Complex where the wounded were taken for treatment, condemning the government for inaction over sectarian groups, said police official Wahid Bakhsh.
Angry protesters also reportedly set ablaze the bus that was attacked by the assailants.
“These are not random killings but demonstrate the deliberate targeting of the Shia by armed groups,” said Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi.
“These attacks prove that without an urgent and comprehensive government response, no place is safe for the Shia,” Zarifi added.
The rights group said it had recorded details of at least 15 attacks specifically targeting Shiites across Pakistan.
“Continued failure to address sectarian violence will only exacerbate the general breakdown in law and order in Pakistan,” it said.
Pakistan’s own independent rights watchdog said the killers had been emboldened by a persistent lack of action against sectarian militant groups, which have been implicated in thousands of deaths in past years.
Tuesday’s attack “exposes once again the diminishing writ of the state”, warned the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
Quetta should be handed over to military to contain the spate of sectarian violence, demanded provincial minister Jan Ali Changezi on Tuesday.
Balochistan is also rife with militancy and a regional insurgency waged by separatists who rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s wealth of natural resources.
In a statement, Islamic Ideology Council chief Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani said those involved in senseless killings don’t deserve to be called as Muslims.
A protest demonstration was held in Khairpur, Sindh against the Quetta incident.
Shia Organizations condemnation
Majlis-e-Wehdat Muslameen (MWM), Jaffaria Alliance Pakistan, Hazara Democratic Party, Tahafuz-e-Azadari Council, Imamia Students Organization, and Shia Ulema Council strongly condemned and deeply regret the unfortunate barbaric act of terrorism in Quetta on Tuesday in which 12 Shia Muslims were martyred and several injured.
The Shia organizations annouced three days of mourning to observe in protest against the killing of innocent Shia Muslims in Quetta and urged the Government to take immediate action against the criminals saying that its the time to eradicate and erase the terrorism.
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