Asia

Pakistan's Quetta mourns attacks on Shias

Pakistani Shiite Muslim mourners sit beside the coffin of a community member killed in an attack by gunmen on a passenger mini bus Image copyright AFP

Shia Muslims in the Pakistani city of Quetta are in mourning after gunmen killed nine people at a market.

Reports say that most markets across Quetta are on strike in protest against Thursday's attack, which targeted members of the city's Hazara community.

It marked the start of a day of violence across the city. Later bombs targeted the leader of a major religious party and a security convoy.

Hundreds of Shia Hazaras in Quetta have been killed in attacks in recent years.

Lawyers are also on strike and protests against Thursday's violence are planned.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) party has said it will hold a rally to protest against the suicide bombing of its public rally, in which two people were killed.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Maulana Fazlur Rehman addressed a rally shortly before the blast
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Shortly afterwards, a suicide bomber struck

Party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was unhurt but said the thought he was the target: "I was in a bulletproof car and that's why I survived," he said,

Elsewhere in the city a bomb attack on a security convoy left two people dead.

In all 13 people were killed across the city, capital of the restive province of Balochistan. No group said it carried out any of the attacks.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The gunmen specifically targeted members of Quetta's Hazara community

Funerals have been taking place since Thursday of those killed in the earlier gun attack.

Police say four gunmen killed six men in a minibus before chasing down another two and shooting them dead. Another gunmen targeted another Hazara civilian shortly afterwards.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Eight people were killed in the attack on the bus in Quetta

Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been targeted before by militants, correspondents say, because he has committed to working within Pakistan's electoral system.

Sunni militants regularly attack members of the city's minority Shia community. On 4 October a suicide bomber killed at least five people in a Shia neighbourhood.

Over the years Pakistan's Shias have been angered by what they say is a lack of protection for them against sectarian attacks.

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