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Shi'a Killed In Bus Attack In Pakistan's Kurram Agency


Tribal elders and government representatives attend a peace assembly in Parachinar in Kurram Agency in 2008.

Tribal elders and government representatives attend a peace assembly in Parachinar in Kurram Agency in 2008.

At least seven bus passengers in Pakistan's Kurram tribal agency have been gunned down by unknown assailants, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

All those killed on March 25 were unarmed Shi'a Muslims who were traveling in a small bus, witnesses told Radio Mashaal. Five more people were injured in the attack.

The attack comes less than two months after rival Sunni and Shi'a Muslims agreed on a peace agreement.

The bus was traveling from the northern city of Peshawar to Parachinar, the administrative capital of the Kurram Agency, when it came under attack in the Bhaggan area of lower Kurram.

Muhammad Baloch, who lives in Bhaggan, told Radio Mashaal that four armed men opened fire on the bus. He said the assailants set the vehicle alight and fled the scene.

Administration official Javid Hussain confirmed the deaths of seven people. He said others are missing and an investigation is under way to locate them.

Pakistan's Kurram Agency has witnessed Sunni-Shi'a sectarian strife since 2008. The road leading to Parachinar from Peshawar was closed for three years due to the fighting, and Shi'a living in the upper part of Kurram Agency had to travel to Parachinar via Afghanistan.

The road between Parachinar and Peshawar was reopened less than two months ago following a peace agreement between Sunnis and Shi'a.

The upper part of the Kurram Agency is mostly inhabited by Shi'a, while lower Kurram is predominantly Sunni.
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