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Gunmen kill seven Shiites in southwest Pakistan

Gunmen kill seven Shiites in southwest Pakistan

Gunmen on Saturday shot dead seven Shiite Muslims in two separate incidents of sectarian violence in Pakistan’s troubled southwestern city of Quetta, police said.

The drive-by shootings took place in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province bordering with Iran and Afghanistan .

He said in the second incident, two gunmen standing on a roadside shot dead two Shiites, who passed by them on a motorbike.

A senior local police official Malik Arshad also confirmed the incidents and casualties and said,”the killings were part of sectarian violence in the city.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but oil and gas rich Baluchistan is rife with Islamist militancy and sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and minority Shiite Muslims, and a regional separatist insurgency.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed since Baluch rebels rose up in 2004 against the federal Pakistani government, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the oil, gas and mineral resources in the region.

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