Armed men kidnap 6 Shia pilgrims at Goldsmid line

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Unidentified armed men kidnapped 6 Shia pilgrims at Goldsmid line, separating Eastern and Western Balochistan.

According to police, the abducted pilgrims were coming from Iran and they belonged to Karachi city, the incident occurred on Sunday.

According to police, the incident took place in Panjgur district of Balochistan.

The pilgrims spent 50 days in Mashhad, Iran, and were on their way to Karachi. The kidnappers released two women and took six male pilgrims with them, Police said.

The minority Shia community had been targeted many times in the past in Pakistan region particularly in Balochistan. Mostly the attacks had been claimed by Islamist extremist groups, specially the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Today’s incident has not been claimed by any group yet.

The Hazara Shia community in Balochistan has been experiencing incidents of violence and targeted killings for more than a decade.

As per reports, more than 1,400 incidents have occurred in Balochistan during the past 15 years.

Last year, Qadir Nayal, a member of the provincial assembly and leader of the Hazara Democratic Party said in an interview that he does not believe ISIS was involved in killings of Hazaras – it was local Mujahideen groups that had moved to Quetta. When asked, he said that all mindsets that encourage sectarianism, including Hafiz Saeed, could be involved in the killings.

Mr Nayal said that state encouraged Mujahideen groups to send to Kashmir and Afghanistan, and now has no control over them. “The Punjab province produced these banned organisations, like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and they later moved to Sindh and Balochistan.”

“In Balochistan, we have Baloch freedom movements. It’s possible that some people want to divert attention from these movements by killing Hazaras,” Nayal said.


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