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Seven Shias gunned down in Pak

world Updated: Sep 01, 2012 14:16 IST

Seven members of the minority Shia community were shot dead in two separate sectarian attacks by unidentified gunmen in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan today.

In the first shooting, gunmen ambushed a vehicle with five persons in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta and fired indiscriminately at the car. All five persons were killed instantly, said the police and witnesses.

The gunmen, who were riding a motorcycle, escaped after the shooting. All the dead were Shia Hazaras, witnesses said.

Two more persons were gunned down in the second attack, which too occurred in Hazar Ganji area a short while later, police said.

Witnesses said the victims were Shias. The bodies were taken to nearby hospitals. Policemen surrounded the area and carried out a search though no arrests were made.

No group claimed responsibility for the incidents. The Hazara Democratic Party condemned the killings and members of the Hazara community blocked Brewery Road and the Western Bypass to protest the two incidents.

The Balochistan Shia Conference called for three days of mourning.

Sardar Saadat Hazara, a leader of the community, demanded that Governor's Rule should be imposed in Balochistan in view of the deteriorating law and order situation.

He called for a strike in Quetta tomorrow to protest the killings. On Thursday, a Shia judge was gunned down along with his driver and police bodyguard in Quetta.

The attack was blamed on the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Balochistan has been a flashpoint for sectarian violence against Shias.