Unidentified gunmen kill 6 Shias in Pakistan

Islamabad: Six members of the minority Shia community, including three lawyers and a Federal Investigation Agency official, were shot dead today by unidentified gunmen in two separate attacks in Pakistan.

Three lawyers were killed and another injured in an attack near the city court complex in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. The dead men ? Badar Munir Jafri, Shakeel Jafri and Kafeel Jafri were members of the same family.

Four gunmen, who were riding two motorcycles, followed the lawyers when they left the court complex in a car and attacked them in Aram Bagh area, witnesses said. The attackers escaped after the shooting. Witnesses told the media that policemen in the area did little to stop them.

The injured lawyer underwent surgery at the Civil Hospital and doctors said he was out of danger. Police officials said the victims were shot from close range. They described the attack as an incident of sectarian violence.

In a separate incident in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, gunmen opened fire on a car at McConghey Road this evening and killed FIA Inspector Vilayat Hussain, television actor Abid Ali Nazish and poet Mohammad Anwar.

The dead men belonged to the Hazara Shia community, which has repeatedly been targeted in sectarian attacks in Balochistan. The attackers, who were riding a motorcycle, escaped after the shooting. Police cordoned off the area after the incident and conducted a search.

Following the attack in Karachi, Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan removed the head of the Aram Bagh police station. He expressed solidarity with the lawyers` community and asked them to stay calm.

Lawyers` groups announced they would boycott courts across the country tomorrow to protest the killings.