QUETTA: Six persons were gunned down and two injured at Samungli Road Quetta on Friday. The Baloch Liberation Army has accepted responsibility of the attack.
Unknown motorcyclists opened fire on cricket players when they were returning home. Five of the dead victims are of the Shiite Yousafzai Qandhari ethnicity. When the media broke news identifying the victims as Hazara due to their Persian language and Shia ethnicity, it caused confusions and distress among the people. Regarding the false news, many outraged young men primarily from Alamdar Road took to the streets and started demonstrating in Jinnah Road. It later became clear that the victims were not Hazaras.
It may be mentioned that the previous day four youth of the Punjabi ethnicity were gunned down in Quetta. The banned Baloch Liberation Army has been claiming responsibility for these incidents of target killing, aimed primarily at the Punjabi ethnicity.
BLA and other such groups are of the view that the resources of their motherland, Balochistan, are being looted by, what they term, Punjabi imperialism. They have been fighting against Pakistani Army in the internal areas of Balochistan. The killings of several prominent Baloch politicians, including Balach Mari and Nawab Akbar Bugti, have compounded the situation.
FUNERAL PRAYER: The funeral prayer of the five victims was held on Saturday, as a shutter down strike was observed in Quetta.
Large number of people offered funeral prayer at Qandhari Imambaragah. Later, the coffins were taken in a procession to Hazara Graveyard, where they were buried. Shops, markets, business centers and traffic remained closed in observance of the strike on the call of Anjuman-e-Tajiraan and Tahaffuz-e-Azadaree Council.
Azadari Council has announced three-day mourning over the incident.
Media mistakes: Several national and international news media associations incorrectly cited that the victims of the incident were Hazaras. These news organizations include Dawn, Outlook Afghanistan and BB C Urdu.