Two members of the Shia Hazara community were killed and another was wounded in an attack motivated by sectarian hatred in the Meconogey Road neighbourhood of the city on Wednesday. With the latest killings, the number of Hazaras killed over the last five days has risen to eight.
Surprisingly, the targeted attack took place even though the home department has banned pillion-riding and imposed Section 144 in the provincial capital.
SHO City Chaudhry Aslam told The Express Tribune that gunmen opened fire on a group of people sitting outside a cloth shop in Meconogey Road near Meezan Chowk, killing two persons on the spot and wounding a third.
“The attackers were on foot and they fled the scene unidentified and unchallenged,” CCPO Abdul Razzaq Cheema told journalists. The slain men, identified as Arif Ali and Haji Hussain, were shifted to the Civil Hospital for autopsy, while the injured man, Muhammad Essa, was driven to the CMH for treatment.
CCPO Cheema said people should cooperate with the paramilitary Frontier Corps and police and report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods. He appealed to shopkeepers not to heed rumours and open their shops.
The FC and police mounted a manhunt for the killers and detained nearly 70 suspects. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though such sectarian attacks in the past were owned by outlawed sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
Five militants held in Bela
The paramilitary force claimed that it has arrested five Baloch insurgents after a gunfight in Bela and adjacent areas of Lasbela district. “After an exchange of fire, the FC arrested five militants and recovered sophisticated weapons from their possession,” an FC spokesman said.
The haul included 14 rifles, nine machine guns, three M16 rifles, walkie-talkie sets and hundreds of rounds. “The detained militants were involved in terror activities in Bela, Hub and adjacent areas of Lasbela,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2015.
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