On Sunday June 8th 2014 more than 25 Shia pilgrims, including more than 10 women and children, were killed when suicide bombers attacked their buses. The attack took place yesterday when 10 buses carrying Shia pilgrims stopped at a hotel in Taftan.
According to security forces they killed six of the attackers after exchanging heavy fire. The official mentioned that terrorist groups knew the exact time and place of Shia pilgrims’ stops.
The home secretary of the province, Akbar Durrani confirmed that security forces were able to overpower the attackers after a few hours of heavy gunfire. The masked militants had come heavily armed and prepared for a siege.
“The bodies of the pilgrims are being shifted to hospitals and the injured are also getting treatment,” Durrani said.
“There were explosions after the buses were parked outside the hotels where the pilgrims were going to stay overnight before they commenced their journey back the following day,” Durrani said.
Attacks on Shia Muslim pilgrims have increased in recent years in the Baluchistan province where in the past also such attacks have killed dozens and injured scores of pilgrims.
Two devastating bombings in Quetta killed nearly 200 Shia last year and were claimed by banned anti-Shia extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) which has links to al-Qaeda.
“We have to stand with [the] victim’s family and come up with [a] new strategy to protect Shia Muslims peacefully,“ said Mustafa Akhwand director of Shia rights Watch.
Anti-Shi’ism is increasing in Middle Eastern countries and all countries have a duty to promote peace and nonviolence. Governments must bring terrorist groups to the court of law, set strong messages to prevent human rights violations toward minorities and make our society safer.