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Gunmen kill 18 bus passengers in Pakistan

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, however Taliban sympathisers have been known to operate in the area.

Image: openDemocracy via Creative Commons/Flickr

GUNMEN ATTACKED A bus in northern Pakistan today, killing 18 passengers on board, police said.

The incident occurred in the remote mountainous village of Harban Nala in Kohistan district, 340 kilometres north of the capital Islamabad.

Police officer Mohammad Azhar said the bus was traveling to Gilgit when the gunmen attacked it and shot the passengers.

Azhar did not immediately have more details of the attack or information about possible survivors.

It was unclear what the motive for the attack was, but in the past Sunni extremists have killed Shia Muslims in that part of Pakistan.

Sunni extremists allied to or inspired by al-Qaeda and the Taliban routinely attack government and security force targets, as well as religious minorities and other Muslim sects they consider infidels. Most of the violence has been in the northwest, close to Afghanistan.

Many thousands have been killed in the last five years, and attacks on Shiites — targeted purely because of their sect — have been some of the bloodiest.

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