Gun and suicide attack kills 23 near Pakistan-Iran border

Shiite Muslim women chant slogans during a protest against a bomb attack on a bus, in Karachi. (File photo: Reuters)

At least 23 people including several Shiite pilgrims were killed in a gun and suicide attack on the restive Pakistan-Iran border late Sunday night, Pakistani officials said.

The attack came when a bus carrying Pakistani pilgrims returning from a visit to holy Muslim sites in Iran stopped at a restaurant in the Pakistani town of Taftan in the border area.

“So far we can confirm 23 people killed including several Shiite pilgrims and security personal. Seven others are injured,” Akbar Durrani, home secretary of Pakistan's southwest Baluchistan province, told AFP.

“Four attackers including two gunmen and two suicide bombers attacked the restaurant in Taftan,” he added.

No group has yet come forward to claim the attack. Two devastating bombings in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, killed nearly 200 people last year and were claimed by banned Sunni extremist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has links to Al-Qaeda.

Nearly 1,000 Shiites have been killed in the past two years in Pakistan, a heavy toll on the community that makes up roughly 20 percent of the country's population of 180 million, which is predominantly Muslim.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43