Van attack kills at least seven in SW Pakistan: officials
Friday, 02 November 2012
QUETTA, Pakistan: At least seven people burned to death and five others were severely injured on Friday as a huge blaze erupted after gunmen attacked a passenger van in restive southwest Pakistan, officials said.
The incident took place in the outskirts of Khuzdar, around 250 kilometres (155 miles) southwest of Quetta, the capital of insurgency-hit Baluchistan province.
Senior local official Abdul Mansoor Kakar told AFP that unknown gunmen opened fire on the van, igniting petrol drums by the roadside and triggering a massive inferno.
"The death toll has risen to seven, five people including a woman were also injured and have been taken to hospital," he said updating the earlier death toll of four.
The fire gutted nearby shops and two shopkeepers were among the dead, while Kakar said condition of two of the injured was critical.
District police chief Fasihud-Din told private television station Geo that up to eight people were killed in the incident.
"A passenger coach was filling with fuel at a petrol stand when the fire erupted. Some seven or eight passengers were burned alive and died in the fire," Din said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Baluchistan is one of Pakistan's most impoverished and dangerous provinces, despite having large unexploited reserves of gas and oil, and is plagued by sectarian violence as well as attacks by Taliban militants and separatist insurgents. (AFP)