IS gunmen massacre 45 Ismailis in Karachi

KARACHI – Pistol-wielding gunmen in Karachi Wednesday stormed a bus carrying members of the Ismaili minority, killing at least 45 in the first attack in the country officially claimed by the Islamic State group. “According to the initial information which we have received from hospitals, 45 people have been killed and 13 wounded,” Ghulam Haider Jamali, Sindh police chief told reporters at the site in Malir district. “Six terrorists came on three motorcycles; they entered the bus and began firing indiscriminately. They used 9mm pistols and all those killed and injured were hit by the 9mm pistols,” he said. The attack occurred in the city suburbs where Ismaili community had recently constructed residential apartments, Al-Azhar Garden. The bus would pick the residents from the apartments and take them to the central city areas including Water Pump, Aaisha Manzil and Karimabad, and then bring them back. Paramilitary Rangers and police conducted a series of targeted raids in Sohrab Goth and Safoora Goth neighbourhoods after the attack and arrested 70 suspects. Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world Ismaili community, confirmed the toll in a statement sent by his office in France. “This attack represents a senseless act of violence against a peaceful community,” the philanthropist and business magnate said.  ...

Pakistani human rights activist shot dead in Karachi

Gunmen shot dead a Pakistani human rights activist on Friday after she hosted a talk on the politics of Baluchistan province, where security forces are fighting a separatist insurgency, police and associates said.   Sabeen Mahmud was leaving her Karachi restaurant, where she also holds exhibitions and talks, when the gunman attacked her in her car. Her mother, who was with her, was wounded, police said.   “Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot her. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead,” senior police official Tariq Dharejo said, adding police were investigating the killing. Mahmud had just hosted a seminar called “Unsilencing Baluchistan”, focussing on the disappearance of political activists in the southwestern province.   The talk was originally due to be held early this month at a university in Lahore but authorities blocked it, media reported at the time.   Rights activists accuse the security forces of carrying out extra-judicial killings of separatists in the province. Hundreds of people have disappeared and later been found dead in recent years. The security forces deny any role in the killings.   The army has vowed to end the Baluchistan insurgency being waged by separatists who say their province’s mineral and gas resources are unfairly exploited by Pakistan’s richer provinces.   Source...