Unidentified gunmen killed eight people and kidnapped dozens of passengers of a convoy traveling through a volatile district of northwest Pakistan along the Afghan border on Friday.
A convoy of five buses were traveling on the main road through Kurram, connecting the northwestern city of Parachinar with Peshawar, capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, when they were ambushed by a band of armed men.
Reports quoting local officials said they opened fire on the first two mini-buses, and then kidnapped passengers of other three vehicles that followed. The casualties included a woman and a child.
BBC said the victims were Shia Muslims who recently struck a peace deal with Taliban militants in the Kurram region, while Reuters said those targeted, belonging to the Turi tribe, recently blocked Taliban militants from the dreaded Haqqani network from using their territory to cross into Afghanistan.
Militants are opposed to jobs and education for women in the deeply conservative tribal region of Kurram, which is a safe haven of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Kurram has long been a flash point of sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and Shia Muslims, who constitute only 20 per cent of Pakistan’s population.