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Monday, July 22, 2013

Gunmen kill two Shia Muslims in Quetta

Published: July 22, 2013

Pakistani Shia Muslims carry the coffins of relatives during a mass burial ceremony in Quetta on February 20, 2013. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

QUETTA: Gunmen killed two people from Pakistan’s Shia community on Monday when they opened fire on a taxi in Quetta, which has been gripped by a wave of sectarian bloodshed, police said.

The attack took place at the busy Iqbal avenue in the southwestern city, the capital of Balochistan where the surge in sectarian unrest has killed scores of Shias.

“The driver and a passenger boarding the taxi, both were Shias. They died after unknown gunmen fired at their car,” said Fayyaz Sumbal, a senior police official in Quetta.

He said that the two attackers were waiting for the taxi to arrive at the busy avenue and escaped on a motorbike after spraying bullets at the vehicle.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a militant group officially banned by the government in 2002, usually claims responsibility for attacks on Shia Muslims.

Elsewhere in Balochistan, two people were killed and three wounded in a bomb attack on a mosque close to customs offices at the Chaman border crossing to Afghanistan.

A local senior official Ibrahim Baloch gave the death toll for the Chaman bombing and said that a second bomb had been found in the area.

“We suspect that one of the dead had been trying to plant the bomb, but we can’t confirm this suspicion at the moment,” he said.

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