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Quetta: 26 Shia pilgrims killed by gun men in Mastung

21 September, 2011

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QUETTA: At least twenty-six Shia pilgrims were killed when unknown men opened indiscriminate fire on bus passengers in Mastung, our sources reported. It is feared that the death toll may rise because those injured are in critical condition.

Later, banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attacks on Shia pilgrims.

According to sources the firing lasted between 5-10 minutes.

The bus was operated by a private company and several pilgrims were onboard. The bus was travelling from Quetta to Taftan.

According to the driver of the bus,50-60 people were travelling on the bus and there were only male passengers onboard.

The pilgrims were taken off the bus, lined up and then fired at.

Speaking to our sources the Deputy Commissioner Mastung said the injured were being shifted to nearby hospitals and ambulances had been called from Quetta.

Security forces have cordoned off the area.

The driver of the bus giving the eye witness account to our sources said 8 to 10 armed men riding two vehicles executed the heinous act and then headed back towards Quetta.

Khushhal Khan, driver of the bus, who was spared by the attackers said that first a pick up carrying the gun men intercepted the bus. They dismounted the pick up with Kalashnikovs and other heavy arms and ordered the passengers of the bus to come out, the driver added. He said, in the meantime, he got a chance and ran away from the scene to save himself.

"When I came back I found many passengers killed and others injured," Khushhal Khan said, adding the security personnel reached the spot after a lapse of around 1 and a half hour time.

Emergency services also arrived at the site of the incident and shifted the dead and injured to hospital.

End.

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