DERA ISAMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen ambushed a car with minority Shiite Muslims in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, killing four of them and a passer-by, while a Taliban attack on a military vehicle in northwestern Pakistan left three soldiers dead.
In the attack in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, two other passers-by were also wounded, according to local police chief Hidayat Ullah.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Sunni extremists regularly target Shiites and have staged previous such attacks in Baluchistan and elsewhere in Pakistan.
Last Thursday, a suicide bomber targeted a Shiite shrine packed with worshippers in the remote village of Jhal Masgi in Baluchistan, killing 24 people. Pakistan’s Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for that attack. IS and other Sunni extremist groups view Shiites as apostates and frequently target them in deadly attacks.
The early morning attack that killed three soldiers in North Waziristan also wounded seven others, two intelligence officials said. The soldiers’ vehicle came under fire in the Dosali area on Monday, said two intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The officials told The Associated Press that militants who crossed the porous Afghan border and sneaked into Pakistan had carried out the attack.
Maqbool Dawar, a commander of main militant group Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming they killed a much higher number of soldiers
Pakistan army has over the past months carried out a massive clean-up operation in North Waziristan, which once served as the main sanctuary for militants attacking Pakistani forces and Afghan and U.S.-led allied forces in Afghanistan.
But despite the offensive, militants in the area are still able to conduct high-profile attacks.
Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, contributed to this report.