QUETTA: At least three people including two paramilitary soldiers and a policeman were killed and three others injured when gunmen opened fire in the southwestern city of Quetta Saturday, officials said, in the latest outbreak of violence in restive Balochistan province.
The attack took place on busy Fatima Jinnah Road.
“A policeman and a paramilitary soldier were killed while two other paramilitary soldiers were injured when gunmen opened fire on them in Quetta,” local police official Syed Zahid Hussain told AFP, adding a passerby was also hit.
The paramilitary soldiers appeared to be the targets of the attack, Zahid said. The incident was also confirmed by a spokesman from the local paramilitary force.
The shooting was later claimed by the Al-Alami faction of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) group, according to a statement released by a spokesman.
Last month, the outfit said it worked with the Islamic State group to execute a massive night raid on a police college that killed 61 people, the deadliest assault on a security installation in Pakistan’s history.
The mineral-rich Balochistan province of which Quetta is the capital has been plagued for decades by a separatist insurgency and sectarian killings.
In August, a suicide bombing at a Quetta hospital claimed by the Islamic State group and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar wing of the Pakistani Taliban killed 73 people, including many of the city’s lawyer community who had gone there to mourn the fatal shooting of a colleague. – AFP