QUETTA: Five people were killed, including three Hazaras, when unidentified gunmen targeted a vehicle carrying members of the Hazara community on the Kasi Road on Monday.
The victims were heading to the Sabzi Mandi from Mariabad when they were targeted by unknown assailants riding a motorcycle. The deceased also included the vehicle’s driver and a passer-by.
Narrating details of the incident, Quetta Police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema said, “The police were escorting the vegetable sellers convoy to the Sabzi Mandi as per daily routine, when one of the vehicles was attacked after it took a separate route from the rest of the convoy.” The attack appears to be an act of sectarian nature, the police officer said.
Police and personnel of other law-enforcement agencies reached the crime scene and started investigations. The police recovered spent shells of 9mm pistol from the crime spot. The bodies and injured were also shifted to a nearby hospital. Four of the bodies were handed over to their families in Quetta, medics said, adding that one of the deceased is still in the morgue as he hails from Shangla, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The deceased members of the Hazara community were identified as Mohammad Ali, Khadim Hussain and Syed Sarwar, while the passer-by was identified as Saleh Mohammad.
Meanwhile, heirs of the deceased placed the bodies at the Shuhada Chowk and protested over their killings. Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti reached the scene and negotiated with the protesters to call off the protest and bury the dead. He said that Balochistan is under the grip of terrorism and the counter terrorism drive would continue till the last terrorist was killed. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri condemned the incident and ordered an inquiry into the incident