Eight Hazara Shias killed in Pakistan bus attack

Sunni militant group believed responsible
ucanews.com reporter, Quetta
October 23, 2014
Eight members of Pakistan’s embattled Hazara Shia community were shot dead in the troubled southwestern Baluchistan province on Thursday, police said.

The sectarian attack happened in Hazar Gunji on the outskirts of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.

Senior police officer Imran Qureshi said four to five gunmen riding motorbikes opened fire on a bus carrying members of the minority community.

“Eight people have been killed in the shooting and one is injured,” Qureshi said. “Police teams escort Hazaras whenever they leave their main town. But on this occasion, they did not inform the police before leaving.”

Dozens of enraged Hazara youth took to the streets in Quetta, burned tires and called for the arrest of those responsible.

The Shia organizations Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) and Shia Ulema Council (SUC) have announced three days of mourning.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the shooting, but suspicions are likely to fall on the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Baluchistan province is plagued by both an armed rebellion and religious extremism.

According to Pakistan’s independent Human Rights Commission (HRCP), 200,000 Shias, 100,000 settlers and 10,000 Hindus have migrated to other provinces and foreign countries over the last five years due to increasing violence.

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