20 Shi'ites taken off Pakistan bus, shot

2012-08-16 18:17
A man comforts a family member mourning the death of his relative, at a local hospital in Mansehra, Pakistan. (Aqeel Ahmed, AP)

A man comforts a family member mourning the death of his relative, at a local hospital in Mansehra, Pakistan. (Aqeel Ahmed, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Peshawar - Gunmen dragged off 20 Shi'ite Muslims travellers and killed them at point blank range in Pakistan on Thursday, the third such incident in six months, officials said.

The attack happened in the northwestern district of Mansehra as the bus was travelling between Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani army is headquartered, and the mainly Shiite northern city of Gilgit.

Officials said it was ambushed in the hills of Babusar Top, around 160km north of the capital Islamabad, although they differed over details of the incident.

"Ten to 12 people wearing army uniform stopped the bus and forced some people off the bus," said Khalid Omarzai, administration chief in Mansehra.

"After checking their papers, they opened fire and at least 20 people are reported to have been killed. This is initial information and the final toll may go up. They are all Shi'ites," he said.

Local police official Shafiq Gul told AFP that the gunmen were masked, but said the victims were pulled from three separate vehicles in the district, which neighbours the Swat valley, a former Taliban stronghold.

"They stopped three vehicles, searched them and picked up people in three batches of five, six and nine and shot them dead. They were all Shiites," he said.

Mansehra police chief Sher Akbar Khan put the toll at 19, saying the attackers had worn military commando uniforms when they opened fire at around 06:00 [01:00 GMT].

"They intercepted three buses, took people out and checked their ID cards and later sprayed bullets at them," Khan said.

Step up security

Sectarian violence linked to Gilgit, a popular tourist destination for wealthy Pakistanis and expatriates who live in the country, has increased in recent months.

It is the capital of Pakistan's far northern Gilgit-Baltistan region and is popular with mountaineers as a gateway to the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges.

Angry mobs burnt tyres and blocked roads in some parts of the city to protest against the killings as extra police patrolled deserted streets and markets closed, said an AFP reporter in Gilgit.

The chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Syed Mehdi Shah, called an emergency meeting of top officials and ordered them to step up security and demanded the immediate arrest of the killers, a spokesperson said.

The road from Babusar to Gilgit has been closed indefinitely, the local government added.

On 28 February, gunmen in military fatigues hauled 18 Shi'ite Muslim men off buses travelling from Rawalpindi to Gilgit in the northern district of Kohistan, shooting them dead in cold blood.

On 3 April, a Sunni Muslim mob dragged nine Shi'ite Muslims from buses and also shot them dead in the town of Chilas, about 80km south of Gilgit.

Human rights groups have heavily criticised Pakistan for failing to crack down on sectarian violence between the country's majority Sunni and minority Shi'ite communities that has killed thousands.

Read more on:    pakistan
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

C# ASP.Net Developers – Cape Town CBD – up to R540k per annum neg on experience

Cape Town
E-Merge IT Recruitment
R400 000 - R540 000 Per Year

SHORT TERM INSURANCE ADMINISTRATOR

Claremont
TAPPAN FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS
R14 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Junior Bookkeeper

George - Knysna
Alfa & Omega Networked Business Solutions (PTY)Ltd
R8 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.