Four minority Shia Hazaras are shot dead in Pakistan

Shias mourn the killing of their relatives at a hospital following the  attack by gunmen in Quetta Members of Pakistan's Shia community have frequently been targeted by militants

Related Stories

Gunmen on motorbikes have shot dead four people from the minority Shia Hazara community in the Pakistani city of Quetta, police say.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which police say bears all the hallmarks of a sectarian attack.

All those killed were workers in the city's busy scrap market.

Hundreds of Shias have been killed in Pakistan since 2011. Most of the deaths have taken place in Balochistan, of which Quetta is the capital.

The million-strong ethnic Hazara community - mainly migrants from Afghanistan - have been the focus of many of the attacks over the last 20 years.

They settled mostly around Quetta because the city allowed them easy access to their communities back home and because it is located on a key Shia pilgrimage route to to Iran.

Officials blame Pakistan's most powerful extremist organisation, the pro al-Qaeda Sipah-e-Sahaba - or Soldiers of the Companions of the Prophet - for most of the violence against them.

Sunni extremists see Shias as heretics and have regularly accused them of being proxies of Iran in Pakistan.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.