Border attack kills Pakistani pilgrims

At least 23 people die and seven are wounded in gun and suicide attack in a restaurant near the Pakistan-Iran border.

Balochistan map, Pakistan

At least 23 people including several Shia pilgrims were killed in a gun and suicide attack inside a restaurant near the Pakistan-Iran border, a Pakistani official 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 Shia pilgrims and security personal. Seven others are injured,” Akbar Durrani, home secretary of Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province, told AFP news agency.

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

An eyewitness told Al Jazeera the attackers fired indiscriminately for 15 minutes and two of the attackers blew themselves up inside the restaurant.

Two devastating bombings in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, killed nearly 200 people last year and were claimed by the banned Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has links to al-Qaeda.

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

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies