No group has claimed responsibility for what police in Quetta believe is a sectarian attack.
Gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in southwest Pakistan on Monday, killing four people of the Shia community, police said.
The incident took place in the Masjid Road area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, where a recent surge in sectarian unrest has killed scores of Shias. “All the four victims were Shia,” Fayyaz Sumbal, a senior police official said, adding that the attackers fled the scene after the shooting.
Rahim Khan, another police official in Quetta, confirmed the incident and said that the attackers came in a white-colored car and sprayed bullets on the victims who were travelling in another vehicle. “Apparently it was a sectarian attack,” Khan said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a militant group officially banned by the government in 2002 usually claims responsibility for attacks on Shia Muslims.
Balochistan is a flashpoint for sectarian violence. The province bordering Iran and Afghanistan is also rife with Islamist militancy and a regional insurgency waged by separatists demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s natural resources.