8 dead in Quetta sectarian attack
QUETTA (PAN): In an apparent sectarian attack, eight people were killed and 15 others wounded when gunmen fired rockets and bullets on them in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province on Friday, police and witnesses said.
The victims, Shiite Muslims, were offering prayers for their dead relatives at a neighbourhood cemetery in Queta's Hazara town when they were shot at, police official Hamid Shakeel said.
The attackers were laced with hand grenades, rockets and machineguns, he said.
However, he said five people were killed and more than 10 others were wounded in the attack. Shiite Muslims visited the venue every Friday, he said.
Witness Shahid Jan Mohammad said the gunmen fired rockets and bullets from a vehicle at the crowd visiting the graveyard, killing eight people and injuring 15 others. He said the attackers used heavy and light weapons.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan, is the base of several Islamist groups, the scene of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims and of a regional insurgency waged by separatists.
Shia Muslims are a minority in Pakistan, accounting for around a fifth of the country's 160 million population dominated by Sunnis.
More than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence between the groups since the late 1980s.
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