Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Gunmen open fire on Shiites in Pakistan bus ambush

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-28

At least 18 Shiite Muslims were killed and eight wounded in Pakistan Tuesday when gunmen opened fire on a bus travelling to the northern city of Gilgit, in what local officials described as a sectarian attack.

AFP - Sectarian gunmen ambushed a bus on Tuesday, killing 18 Shiite Muslims in a usually peaceful region of northern Pakistan that neighbours the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, officials said.

The bus was stopped, before passengers were ordered off and shot in the mountainous district of Kohistan as it travelled from Rawalpindi, the city where Pakistan's army is headquartered, to the northern city of Gilgit.

"Armed men hiding on both sides of the road attacked the bus," local police chief Mohammad Ilyas said.

"Eighteen people have died and eight wounded," he added.

The ambush happened near the town of Harban, 130 miles (208 kilometres) north of the capital Islamabad.

Survivors said seven or eight gunmen stopped the bus, forced the passengers to get off and then opened fire, regional administration chief Khalid Omarzai told AFP by telephone, confirming the casualty numbers.

"It appears to be a sectarian attack," local MP Abdul Sattar Khan said.

"Its a remote area. We are getting reports that the gunmen forced people to get off the bus. They checked their papers and shot them dead," he told AFP.

The victims were Shiite Muslims, he said. "It could be the outcome of the murder of two Sunni Muslims a few days ago in Gilgit. The people of the area had vowed they would take revenge," Khan added.

Human rights groups have heavily criticised the Pakistani government for failing to crackdown on sectarian violence between the country's majority Sunni and minority Shiite Muslim communities that has killed thousands.

Authorities were slow to confirm the motive and insisted Islamist militants are not active in the area. Kohistan borders the Swat valley, where Pakistan in 2009 managed to put down a two-year Taliban insurgency.

Omarzai told AFP that he could not immediately confirm whether it was a sectarian attack, saying that the police were investigating.

Three bombs have targeted Pakistan's northwest in recent days, raising fears that violence linked to a Taliban insurgency directed against a government allied to the US-led war against terror is again on the rise.

More than 530 bomb attacks have killed around 4,900 people across Pakistan since government troops in July 2007 stormed a mosque in Islamabad where Islamist extremists were holed up, provoking a local Taliban-led insurgency.

 

Date created : 2012-02-28

  • Pakistan

    Pakistan demolishes Osama bin Laden site

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Deadly suicide attack launched on police station

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Blast rips through bus stop in north-west Pakistan

    Read more

COMMENT(S)