At least 20 members of the Shia community were gunned down in the Mastung area of Balochistan on Tuesday in yet another targeted attack on this minority group in the restive province. In this case, the victims were pulled out of a bus heading towards Taftan on the Pakistan-Iran border and gunned down by motorcyclists.
According to provincial officials, the victims were pilgrims heading for Iran to visit shrines and had not informed the Home Department about the journey nor asked for security. Local media reports claimed that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Eyewitnesses said the bus was intercepted by a vehicle after which the armed motorcyclists asked the passengers to step out and fired upon indiscriminately. Some tried to flee and managed to survive with injuries. There were also reports of some of the victims' family members coming under gunfire while on their way to the site of the killing.
Earlier in the morning, 18 terrorists and a soldier were reportedly killed when heavily armed Taliban fighters attacked a security check post in the Orakzai tribal agency. State-run television PTV claimed that the Taliban attacked the security personnel with rockets and automatic weapons.