Unidentified gunmen killed two shopkeepers from Pakistan’s Shiite Muslim minority when they opened fire in a congested market in the southwest of the country, the second such attack in a week.
Police said two other Shiite shopkeepers and a passerby were wounded in the attack in central Quetta, the the capital of restive Baluchistan province.
“The attackers came on motorcycles and opened fire indiscriminately, killing two cloth merchants and wounding two shopkeepers and a passerby,” Quetta police chief Abdul Razzak Cheema told AFP.
Quetta was already tense following the killing of four people, three of them Shiites, in the city on Monday.
Senior police official Aitzaz Goraya confirmed the attack and casualties and told AFP that police were searching for the attackers.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but Baluch separatists demanding greater autonomy have been waging an insurgency for years and the province is also riven by sectarian strife and Islamist violence.
Sectarian violence — in particular by Sunni hardliners against Shiites, who make up roughly 20 percent of Pakistan’s 200 million people — has claimed thousands of lives in the country over the past decade.
This month, 45 Shiites were massacred in the southern city Karachi.