At least 10 people gunned down in southwest Pakistan

At least 10 people gunned down in southwest Pakistan
# 02 April 2018 20:44 (UTC +04:00)

At least 10 people, including four members of the Christian community, were killed in three back-to-back shooting incidents in southwestern Balochistan province on Monday, police and local media reported, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

All incidents were reported in Quetta, the capital of the mineral-rich Balochistan province, on a key route of $62 billion Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC) project which aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

Gunmen opened fire at an auto rickshaw on a busy city street moments before dusk, killing four members of the Christian community, local broadcaster Samaa TV reported quoting police officials.

The police were considering different motives, including terrorism, behind the incident as no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

“It could be a terrorist attack or result of some personal enmity. We are considering all possibilities”, a senior police official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

Another five people were gunned down in a similar incident, which appeared to be the sequel of a tribal feud, Samaa TV reported.

Another civilian lost his life in a hit-and-run incident in northern part of Quetta earlier in the day, police said.

The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.

The region has been plagued by violence for over six decades, however, with separatists claiming it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan -- against the will of its inhabitants -- at the end of British rule in 1947.

Over the course of the last decade, the province -- especially capital Quetta -- has been beset with a deadly wave of sectarian violence in which over 2,200 people have been killed.