Tuesday 21 August 2012

Killers of Shias likely from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

The killers of more than 20 Shia men returning home to the Gilgit and Skardu areas last week were most likely members of Lashkar-e Jhangvi, according to an eyewitness who gave an interview to the Pakistani media. The interview can be found on the ShiaKilling website - incredible that there is a dedicated website for this subject!
The four buses were stopped by 30-40 gunmen at Babu Sir in Mansehra district. One witness who survived by hiding under one of the buses says they all had long hair and appeared to be Pashtuns from the tribal areas. The unnamed witness whose interview is mentioned above claims that the Shia men on the four buses travelling from Rawalpindi to Astor in the mountainous north of the country were identified when the gunmen asked them questions about Sunni Islamic rites. When they failed to answer the questions correctly, they were taken to the back of one of the buses and on the command 'action!', were shot to death. After the shooting stopped the killers, dressed in Pakistan Army fatigues, chanted 'Death to the Shia Infidels!' and 'Long Live Lashkar-e-Jhangvi!'.
LJ was formed in Pakistan in 1996 and specialises in killings Shias. It is also thought to have been behind the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009 and there is evidence that the suicide bomber who killed Benazir Bhutto and others in December 2007 was a member of the organisation. 
Update: One of the most remarkable things about these killings is that Sunni passengers on the buses reportedly refused to cooperate with the killers to identify fellow passengers as Shias. They were beaten and at least four Sunnis were shot dead for refusing to help the killers identify the Shia passengers. 

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