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Two Hazara men shot dead in Quetta

Updated August 01, 2016

QUETTA: Gunmen riding a motorcycle killed two members of the minority Hazara community on Monday in an apparent sectarian attack, police said.

The killing took place in the suburbs of Quetta, the provincial capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan, while the victims were travelling in a rickshaw.

“Gunmen on a motorcycle stopped the rickshaw and then opened fire on them and fled the scene,” Abdullah Jan Afridi, a senior police officer in Quetta, told AFP.

Afridi said the pair were labourers in a coalmine. The rickshaw driver was unhurt in the attack in the Saryab road area.

“We are investigating but apparently it is a sectarian attack,” Afridi said.

Noor Baloch, a police surgeon in Quetta civil hospital, told AFP both victims were shot in the head. There was no claim of responsibility.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Khan Zehri ordered police to arrest killers as soon as possible.

Earlier in July, two powerful explosions ripped through crowds of minority Hazaras in Kabul who had gathered to protest over a power line, killing at least 80 people and leaving 231 others wounded, Afghan public health ministry said.

The militant Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for twin explosions.

Hazaras in Afghanistan are considered the poorest of the country's ethnic groups, and often complain of discrimination. Bamiyan is poverty stricken, though it is largely peaceful and has potential as a tourist destination.