At least four Shia women have been martyred when assailants opened fire on a bus in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province Tuesday evening.
The incident, the latest in a series of sectarian attacks, occurred in Quetta, the capital of the militancy-hit province, when assailants fired at a moving bus carrying around 40 passengers, Quetta’s Vice Mayor Yunus Baluch told reporters.
Four women, he said, were martyred on the spot, while one person was injured in the gunfire coming from gunmen riding two motorbikes along a busy city road. Baluch said despite the gunfire the driver kept the bus moving forward, saving perhaps dozens of lives.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but security forces suspect terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is behind the incident. Pakistan has a long history of sectarian violence, with thousands of Shias and Sunnis Muslims with Wahhabi terrorists, having been killed over the last three decades.
Baluchistan, which is the size of Italy, and rich in copper, zinc, and natural gas, has been beset by sectarian violence and a low-intensity separatist movement by secular Baluch militants who have been fighting for cessation from Pakistan. The Hazara community, which originally belongs to northern Afghanistan, and whose members are easily identifiable due to their Mongol features, has been a prime target of sectarian violence in Quetta for over a decade.