–Muhammad Ali Rezai’s security had been withdrawn following SC’s directive
–Killings are the fourth such incident in April
QUETTA: Two persons belonging to the Shia Hazara community were killed on Saturday in a drive-by shooting that appeared to be an incident of ‘targeted killing’.
According to police, unidentified assailants opened fire at an electronics shop in Jamaluddin Afghani Road area, killing two Hazara men on the spot.
The assailants managed to escape unhurt from the scene after the attack, while the bodies of the deceased identified as Jaffar and Muhammad Ali Rezai were shifted to the Civil Hospital in Quetta.
The bodies were handed over to their heirs after legal formalities.
Police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies reached the site as an investigation into the incident was underway. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to Al Jazeera, Muhammad Ali Rezai was a senior leader of the Balochistan Shia Conference. It merits mention here that Rezai normally travelled with a police guard, however, his security had been withdrawn following the Supreme Court’s directives.
Meanwhile, members of the Hazara community took to the roads of the city and protested what was the fourth attack against the Hazaras within a short span of just a month. Tyres were set ablaze as the protesters carried out a demonstration against the negligence of the authorities concerned.
On April 22, two men belonging to Shia Hazara community were shot dead while the third was injured in a targetted attack at Western Bypass, Quetta.
According to police, Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Zaman were killed on the spot when unidentified assailants opened fire at them. One person was injured as result of firing, who was rushed to Bolan Medical Complex for treatment.
The victims were members of the Hazara community and that the incident appeared to be a targeted attack, said the police.
The assailants managed to escape unhurt from the spot after the attack. Police and other law enforcement personnel reached the spot as an investigation into the incident was initiated.
In two earlier attacks, two Hazara men were killed in separate attacks.
In 2013, at least 180 Hazaras were killed in bomb blasts-96 died in a bomb explosion at a snooker club frequently visited by Hazaras while 84 others were killed when a bomb went off in a vegetable market mostly used by Hazaras.
According to a recent report of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), at least 509 Hazaras have been killed and 627 have been injured in terror-related incidents in Quetta over the last five years. The report titled ‘Understanding the Agonies of Ethnic Hazaraz’ is based on the data shared by the Balochistan home department and lists the incidents of attacks on the Hazara community from January 2012 to Dec 2017.
The report also criticises national media for being oblivious to the plight of Hazara community and stated that the international media is more supportive towards the issues of Hazaras as compared to national media.