ISIS Gunmen Slaughter Christian Family in Pakistan

By Published on April 3, 2018

Gunmen cut down four members of a Christian family in southwest Pakistan on Monday in what authorities said was a targeted attack.

The unidentified men opened fire from their motorcycle on a Christian family of five aboard a rickshaw and traveling through the city of Quetta, in the province of Baluchistan, according to U.S. News. One of the victims, an unnamed woman, suffered gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital. The attack killed her father and three of her cousins. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through their Aamaq news agency, according to The Associated Press.

“It appears to have been a targeted attack. It was an act of terrorism,” local police official Moazzam Jah Ansari told Reuters.

The terrorist attack on Pakistan’s Christian minority was unrelated to a separate attack that same day in which gunmen killed five Muslims in Quetta, local police chief Abdul Qadeer told AP. The attacks came shortly after Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa affirmed death sentences for 10 Islamic militants on Monday — just one day after Pakistani Christians celebrated Easter.

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The family had been visiting relatives for the celebration in the Shahzaman road area of Quetta, according to Reuters. The shooting is only the latest in a series of Baluchistan province attacks carried out by Sunni Islamist groups connected to ISIS, the Taliban and al Qaeda. Religious minorities like Christians, which make up only two percent of Pakistan’s population, are often targeted in these attacks. In one such instance, ISIS-linked Islamist suicide bombers attacked a church in southwest Pakistan in December of 2017. Ten were killed and as many as 56 people were wounded.

Pakistan reinstated the death penalty and continued military trials for captured militants in response to a 2014 terrorist attack on a Peshwar school. Militants killed 150 people — at least 132 of whom were children. The Taliban targeted the school as revenge for Pakistani military operations against them.

 

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