People from the Hazara community in Balochistan mourn over the death of their relative. – File Photo

QUETTA: Gunmen Monday shot dead three Shia Muslims and wounded two others in Pakistan's troubled southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said.

The shooting took place in the town of Mach, some 70 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of the provincial capital Quetta.

“Three men from the Shia Hazara community were killed and two others were wounded when gunmen on a motorbike sprayed bullets at two vegetable shops,” local police official Sher Ahmed told AFP.

Two others sitting in the shop were wounded in the firing, he added.

Atif Nabi, a local government official confirmed the attack and toll.

Balochistan is rife with Islamist militancy, sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and minority Shia Muslims and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

Violence has surged in the province this year and human rights activists have raised concerns about an increase in targeted killings.

In September the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said more than 100 Shias had been killed in sectarian attacks in Balochistan this year.

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