QUETTA, June 23: At least eight people, including a police constable and his son, were killed when armed men opened indiscriminate fire on a laundry shop in Sariab road area here on Saturday.
“The victims were gathered at the shop for lunch when the armed men struck,” senior police officer Sikandar Tareen said, adding that the owner of the laundry was killed in the firing.
Sources said the attackers were four in number and riding two motorbikes and used automatic weapons to target the victims.
“The constable killed in the attack was posted in Nasirabad and came to Quetta on leave,” police sources said, adding that other people who lost their lives belonged to Jacobabad, Usta Muhammad and Quetta.
Soon after the attack, police and law-enforcement personnel rushed to the site and moved the bodies and two injured to the Civil Hospital where one of the injured died. The other injured man, identified as Shahzad, was later shifted to the Combined Military Hospital.
The attackers managed to escape on their motorcycles after the firing. A senior police officer told Dawn that most of the victims were poor people who sold cloth and other items on the streets. They usually came to Quetta from Sindh and other parts of Balochistan to avoid hot weather in summer. They were living in a rented house near Sariab mills area.
“We are investigating the incident from different angles and things will be clear soon,” the police sources said, adding that the motive behind the killing had yet to be ascertained.
The dead were identified as police Constable Gul Muhammad, his son Muhammad, shop owner Muhammad Ishaq, Nasarullah, Muhammad Omair, Abdul Hameed Mengal, Ghulam Murtaza and Sher Muhammad.
“They all received multiple bullet injuries,” hospital sources said.
Meanwhile, a clerk of the police department was gunned down by unknown motorcyclists in Faizabad area on Saturday morning.
Police said the reason for the killing appeared to be old enmity.