Pakistani police say gunmen riding on a motorcycle opened fire, killing four members of a Shiite family and their driver near Mastung town of Balochistan on wednesday.
According to reports, three men and a woman from a Shiite family were traveling to the southern port city of Karachi when armed men on two motorcycles attacked their car on a highway close to Quetta, the provincial capital.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but outlawed Islamist extremist groups have claimed similar attacks in the past. Islamist extremists view Shiites as apostates deserving of death.
Baluchistan has also been the scene of insurgency by separatists demanding for an independent homeland for the Baloch nation.
Balochistan, home to a “freedom movement” by Baloch nationalist organisations, has seen a recent surge in attacks on security forces in last few months.
Recent violence in Baluchistan has fueled concern about security for projects in the $57-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a transport and energy link planned to run from western China to Baluchistan’s deep-water port of Gwadar.