People comfort a man whose family member was killed in a shooting in Quetta, Pakistan on Friday. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Eight people were killed and 15 injured when militants opened fire at people doing morning exercise at a park in Quetta in southwest Pakistan, police have said.

Hamid Shakil, a police official, said the victims were in a neighbourhood park in Hazara town when they were shot at.

"They were taking morning exercise when the attackers came in two cars and indiscriminately opened fire on them," Geo TV quoted Shakil as saying.

Xinhua News quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the militants first fired indiscriminately at the people in the ground, then fired three rockets at them.

Yesterday morning's attack comes within four days of the killing of the Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden in the country's northwest city of Abbottabad by US commandos.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has pledged to avenge Osama's killing with terror attacks in the country.

Broken the backbone

Recently Pakistan has been plagued by attacks on civilians by militants.

Last month, a roadside bomb hit a bus taking Pakistani navy employees to work in Karachi, killing five people in the third such attack in the last week of April and just days after the army chief claimed to have "broken the backbone" of militants.

Within hours of the bombing, the Pakistan Taliban, the country's deadliest militant group, claimed responsibility for the latest Karachi explosion.

The series of attacks in the country's largest city and its economic heart showed the determination and reach of Al Qaida-linked extremist networks despite American-backed Pakistani army offensives against their main bases in the northwest close to the Afghan border.

The early morning blast mangled the bus and damaged nearby buildings.

Four of the dead were sailors, while the fifth was a passer-by, said navy spokesman Salman Ali and Seemi Jamali, a doctor at the city's Jinnah Hospital. Five were wounded.

Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said the navy was targeted as part of the Pakistan army, which backs Washington in the war against terrorism.