QUETTA: Two people were killed Sunday in the country’s southwest when unknown gunmen opened fire on a small group here in the city’s Essa Nagri neighbourhood, police said
Two men on a motorcycle began shooting at churchgoers, who were on their way home from the local church, Ataullah Shah, a local police official, told Reuters.
Three people, including a minor girl and two women, were wounded and subsequently taken to the Bolan Medical Complex, whereas two people were pronounced dead.
Television pictures showed members of Quetta’s Christian community burning car and bicycle tires while protesting the shooting.
At the hospital, people screamed and cried as the two bodies were brought in on a stretcher covered with white sheets. The deceased’s relatives lodged a protest outside, maintaining that immediate first-aid could have saved those who died.
The local police authorities started a probe into the matter.
A first information report (FIR) against unidentified persons was registered with the authorities, with charges comprising murder and attempted murder — under Sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder) and 324 (attempt to commit murder) — among others.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo condemned the incident and expressed sorrow at the loss of precious lives. The chief minister said some miscreants want to destroy the province’s peace.
Militant groups linked to the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Daesh have been involved in various cases of violence in Balochistan, with Daesh having created branches in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years mostly by recruiting among established militants.
Its followers have claimed some of Pakistan’s most deadly recent attacks.
This month, four members of a Christian family were gunned down in Quetta a day after Easter in what police officials called a “targeted attack”.
In December, two suicide bombers stormed a packed church in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 10 people and wounding up to 56. Daesh claimed both attacks.