QUETTA: Three Hazara Shias were gunned down by terrorists in two firing incidents in the heart of the provincial capital on Thursday night.
Sources said that some terrorists riding motorcycles first opened fire with automatic weapons at a tea store in Kandahari Bazaar, killing a man and injuring another.
As police personnel rushed to the scene and were taking victims of the first firing incident to the Civil Hospital, two motorcyclists attacked a juice shop in Liaquat Bazaar area, seriously injuring two more Hazaras.
The two were taken to the Combined Military Hospital, but died there.
The condition of the fourth injured man of the Kandahari Bazaar firing incident was stated to be serious. He was shifted to CMH, Quetta.
DIG Operations Qazi Wahid told Dawn that both incidents were of a sectarian nature as all the three people killed in the attack belonged to the Hazara Shia community.
“Armed men targeted the people at two places at brief interval,” the DIG said.
Terrorists escaped from the scene in both incidents.
The dead were identified as Sakhi Dad, Karbali Noor Mohammad and Ahmed Ali Hazara.
It was the fourth sectarian attack in Quetta over the last two weeks in which 17 people have been killed and around dozen injured in different parts of Quetta city.
Soon after the firing, all bazaars, shopping centres and business establishments put up the shutters and within half an hour, the entire city presented a deserted look as vehicles also went off the road.
The Hazara Democratic Party, Balochistan Shia Conference and Shia Ulema Council condemned the killing of the people of the Hazara community. They announced a three-day mourning to protest the attack.
The Hazara Democratic Party called for observing a protest day in which rallies would be taken out in the provincial capital.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani condemned the killings and ordered the IG police and other officials concerned to take strict action against elements involved in sectarian killings.
Security was beefed up in and around Quetta after the shootings.