Gunmen killed at least 14 passengers after forcing them off several passenger vehicles on the coastal highway through Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province. Some 20 militants apparently stopped vehicles, checked passangers’ identification papers, and shot selected ones to death on the roadside. A statement later issued by a previously unknown militant group said those targeted were determined to be members of the military or security forces. The attack was claimed by the Baloch Raji Aajoi Sangar, or Baloch People’s Liberation Coalition, which is believed to have emerged from factional rivalry within the Baloch separatist insurgency. Pakistan has filed a diplomatic complaint with Iran, accusing it of giving the Baloch militants harbor on its territory across the border. (Map via Atheer)
In Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province, at least 16 were killed and over two dozen injured in a blast that targeted members of the Shi’ite Hazara community. Eight of those killed in the blast at a crowded vegetable market were Hazara. This was the latest in a relentless wave of terror against the Hazara people in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. In March, three were killed and some 20 injured when a mortar attack struck a gathering in Kabul commemorating the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, leader of the Hazaras’ Hizb-e-Wadhat Party and a key figure in the Mujahedeen resistance movement of the 1980s. Assassinated in 1995 by the Taliban, he was recently awarded the title of “Martyr of National Unity.” The Kabul ceremony was attended by high officials and billed as a step toward national reconciliation. ISIS took credit for the attack, but the ongoing terror campaign leaves many Afghan Hazaras concerned about the current peace talks with the Taliban.
A suicide bomber killed at least 130 at a campaign rally in Pakistan’s Balochistan province— the deadliest attack in the country since 2014. A local candidate with the Balochistan Awami Party was among the dead. The local franchise of the Islamic State took credit for the attack. Radio Free Europe portrays the BAP as part of the Pakistani military establishment’s plan to undermine Baluch ethno-nationalist groups. Balochistan province is part of the larger region of Baluchistan, homeland of the Baluch people, long divided between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. There are movements for Baluch independence in each of these countries, but they have been unable to unite across the nation-state boundaries. The attack may point to an ISIS strategy to disrupt electoral ethno-nationalist initiatives, and co-opt the Baluch struggle across all three borders, wedding it to Sunni extremism. (Map via Atheer)
Coordinated ISIS attacks on Iran's parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini come amid an Islamic State propaganda push targeting the Islamic Republic's Sunni minority.
A proposed amendment to Pakistan's constitution, making Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi "national languages" along with Urdu, is sparking an angry backlash from nationalists.
Baluchi militants attacked Iranian security forces in the country's east, pledging to coordinate their struggle with that of the Ahwazi Arabs in the oil-rich southwest.
A court in Balochistan region issued an arrest warrant for Pakistan's ex-strongman Pervez Musharraf, accused of involvement in the murder of a Baloch nationalist leader.
The local ISIS franchise claimed responsibility for a blast at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan region that killed 60 worshipers and injured more than 100.
ISIS and the Taliban both claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack at a police academy in Quetta, while Pakistani authorities blamed the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi network.
Lawyers went on strike and journalists staged demonstrations after scores were slain in a Taliban terror attack on a hospital in Quetta, capital of restive Balochistan province.
The killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in a US drone strike actually took place in Pakistan—without consent of Islamabad, signaling a break between the two allies.
Amnesty International released a report finding 160 juvenile offenders are currently on death row in Iran, with 73 executions of juvenile offenders carried out over the past decade.