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2 dead in Pakistan drive-by church shooting

Second Quetta attack in April claimed by local affiliate of Daesh

Image Credit: AP
Pakistani Christians mourn the death of relatives who were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church, at a hospital in Quetta on April 15, 2018.

Quetta: Two Christians were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southwestern Pakistan Sunday, officials said, the second such attack in the area in April.

Daesh’s local franchise claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, the SITE intelligence group said.

“Four men on two motorbikes opened indiscriminate fire” on a group of Christians, “killing two people while injuring three others”, local police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP.

It came just weeks after four Christians were shot dead in the city, an attack also claimed by Daesh.

Sunday’s shooting took place in the Christian-majority Esa Nagri neighbourhood of Quetta, where hundreds gathered to protest the killings.

“Around 500” protesters blocked a road by placing the bodies of the two victims in the middle, said local official Javed Anwar Shawani.

“We are negotiating with them to make them disperse and bury” the victims, he added.

Islamist militants have in the past attacked Christians and other religious minorities in Balochistan.

In December last year, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a Quetta church, which was packed with worshippers, killing nine people and wounding over a dozen.

Christians make up less than two per cent of Muslim-majority Pakistan’s 200 million people, and have long faced discrimination and violence.

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