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2 Hazara men shot dead in fourth 'targeted' attack this month in Quetta

Updated April 28, 2018

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A man mourns the death of a relative at a hospital after assailants opened fire at an electronics shop in Quetta on Saturday. — AFP
A man mourns the death of a relative at a hospital after assailants opened fire at an electronics shop in Quetta on Saturday. — AFP

Two shopkeepers belonging to the Shia Hazara community were killed in a drive-by shooting in Quetta on Saturday, police said.

According to police, unidentified assailants opened fire at an electronics shop in Quetta's Jamaluddin Afghani Road area, killing two Hazara men on the spot.

The assailants managed to escape unhurt from the scene after the attack, while the bodies of the deceased — identified as Jaffar and Muhammad Ali — were shifted to the Civil Hospital in Quetta.

A police officer who requested anonymity said the attack appeared to be an incident of targeted killing.

Police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies reached the site as an investigation into the incident went underway. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Activists of the Hazara Democratic Party staged a protest against the killings at Quetta's Bacha Khan Chowk. They set tyres alight, chanted slogans against the administration and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

Attacks against Hazaras in Quetta have seen a spike recently, with today's incident being the fourth this month alone.

Two members of the community were killed and another was injured in an attack in the Western Bypass area of the city last Sunday. A shopkeeper was gunned down on April 18 while another Hazara man was killed in the beginning of the month.

Sectarian terrorism in Balochistan has disproportionately targeted people from the Hazara community.

A report by the National Commission of Human Rights (NCHR) released last month claimed that 509 Hazaras were killed in various incidents of terrorism in Quetta in the last five years.