Hazara Shi’ite pilgrims massacred in Pakistan —again

Gunmen in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan attacked a bus carrying Shi’ite pilgrims to Iran on Sept. 20, killing at least 25. The driver of the bus told police that some 10 assailants ordered the pilgrims off the bus and then opened fire on them. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an extremist Sunni group believed to be responsible for previous attacks on Shi’ites in Baluchistan, claimed responsibility. The Shi’ites of Baluchistan are mostly members of the Hazara ethnic minority (which was the target of a campaign of genocide by the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan in the 1990s).

The attack occurred at Mastung, some 30 miles south of Quetta, the provincial capital, along the road to the Iranian border crossing at Taftan. The bus was bound for the Iranian holy cities of Mashhad and Qom. Attacks on the Shi’ite pilgrims have been frequent over the last decade. On Aug. 31, at least 10 Shi’ites were killed in a suicide bombing near Quetta on the Islamic festival of Eid. A year ago, some 60 people were killed in a suicide attack on a Shi’ite rally in Quetta . (Reuters, NYT, IRIB, Iran, Sept. 20)

The website Hazara.net maintains an archive of such attacks.

See our last posts on Pakistan and the struggle within Islam.

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  1. Shi’ites massacred in Pakistan —again
    Gunmen on motorbikes and stopped a bus carrying mostly Shi’ite Muslims who were headed to work at a vegetable market on the outskirts of Quetta, opening fire and killing 12 people, wounding six others. (AP, Oct. 3)