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Pakistan: Militants kill 41 in mass execution, attack on Shi’ites


Witnesses said a blast targeted their three buses as they were overtaking a car about 60 km (35 miles) west of Quetta, capital of sparsely populated Baluchistan province.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: Reuters | News
By Jibran Ahmad | December 30, 2012

Pakistani militants, who have escalated attacks in recent weeks, killed at least 41 people in two separate incidents, officials said on Sunday, challenging assertions that military offensives have broken the back of hardline Islamist groups.

The United States has long pressured nuclear-armed ally Pakistan to crack down harder on both homegrown militants groups such as the Taliban and others which are based on its soil and attack Western forces in Afghanistan.

In the north, 21 men working for a government-backed paramilitary force were executed overnight after they were kidnapped last week, a provincial official said.

Twenty Shi’ite pilgrims died and 24 were wounded, meanwhile, when a car bomb targeted their bus convoy as it headed toward the Iranian border in the southwest, a doctor said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has noted more than 320 Shias killed this year in Pakistan and said attacks were on the rise. It said the government’s failure to catch or prosecute attackers suggested it was “indifferent” to the killings.

Pakistan, seen as critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize the region before NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, denies allegations that it supports militant groups like the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.

Afghan officials say Pakistan seems more genuine than ever about promoting peace in Afghanistan.

At home, it faces a variety of highly lethal militant groups that carry out suicide bombings, attack police and military facilities and launch sectarian attacks like the one on the bus in the southwest.

Witnesses said a blast targeted their three buses as they were overtaking a car about 60 km (35 miles) west of Quetta, capital of sparsely populated Baluchistan province.

“The bus next to us caught on fire immediately,” said pilgrim Hussein Ali, 60. “We tried to save our companions, but were driven back by the intensity of the heat.”

Twenty people had been killed and 24 wounded, said an official at Mastung district hospital.

[…more…]

Read original post here: Pakistan militants kill 41 in mass execution, attack on Shi’ites

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