Pakistanis have gone on strike in Balochistan’s provincial capital of Quetta to protest a terrorist attack against Shia pilgrims that left at least 15 of them dead. Quetta in southwestern Balochistan Province has been observing a complete shutter-down strike-- a day after deadly attacks there. Every business and office- public or private - was closed as people mourned the victims of multiple attacks that left dozens dead or injured. On Thursday, unknown militants fired rockets at a bus carrying 40 Shia pilgrims in the Hazar Gungi area on the outskirts of Quetta, leaving at least 15 of them dead. The bus was traveling from Iran to the city. In a separate incident on Thursday, seven soldiers were killed in the country’s northwest after a roadside bomb hit a paramilitary convoy. The incident was condemned by many including the prime minister and the president.
Militants have killed a large number of Shia Muslims in different parts of Pakistan over the past three years. Local sources say more than 2,000 Shia Muslims have been killed in the Kurram Agency alone since 2007.Meanwhile, Pakistani Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the crime. The recent surge in attacks against Pakistani Shia civilians has caused international outrage, with many rights groups and regional countries, including Iran, condemning the attacks and expressing deep concern over attempts to target unarmed Shia civilians. MSH/GHN/AZ