Islamabad: Seven Shia Muslims were shot dead today in two separate sectarian attacks by unidentified gunmen in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan, triggering violent protests from the community which left two more people dead.
In the first attack on Shias, the gunmen ambushed a vehicle with five persons in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta and fired indiscriminately at the car. All five persons were killed instantly, police and witnesses told the media.
The gunmen, who were riding a motorcycle, escaped after the shooting. City Police chief Mir Zubair said the five men killed in the incident were vegetable merchants. All the dead were Shia Hazaras, witnesses said.
In the second attack a short while later, two more persons were gunned down in Hazar Ganji area, police said. The victims, who according to witnesses were also Shia Muslims, were sitting at a hotel when they were attacked.
Their bodies were taken to nearby hospitals. Policemen surrounded the area and carried out a search
though no arrests were made. No group claimed responsibility for the incidents.
Later in the day, angry members of the Hazara community protested in some parts of the city and resorted to aerial firing in which another two people were killed, Dunya News reported.