Kohistan Shia Massacre: 28 Feb 2012
28 February 2012 Kohistan Massacre refers to the massacre of 19 Shia Muslim residents of Gilgit-Baltistan travelling by bus from Rawalpindi, Punjab to Gilgit, Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan.
The buses were stopped in Kohistan and the victims were killed based on being Shia Muslims affiliation by pro-Taliban terrorists Jindullah dressed in Military uniforms.
The martyrs included three children while 27 other passengers on the bus were spared.
The bus was stopped, before passengers were ordered off and shot in the mountainous district of Kohistan. The ambush happened near the town of Harban, 130 miles (208 kilometres) north of the capital Islamabad.
The convoy of four buses were travelling from Rawalpindi, Punjab to Gilgit, Gilgit Baltistan. On a deserted section of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), in Kohistan (an area dominated by Sunni tribes), 10 to 12 gunmen in military uniform flagged the bus for stopping. After the bus halted, the gunmen climbed on board and asked passengers for identification. They checked the identity cards of all the passengers. After which the gunmen dragged a group of Shia men including three children off the bus. They were made to stand in a line by the roadside. Their hands were tied to their back and then sprayed with bullets from AK-47 Assault rifle. After the shooting the gunmen resorted to aerial firing and moved to the nearby hilly areas
The Pakistan government had planned and organised settlement of non-locals from tribal areas, Kohistan, Kashmir and parts of Punjab which further deteriorated the situation.
The Shias in Pakistan frequently complain that ”the Pakistani state does little to stop the attacks and has even released from custody notorious militants accused of carrying them out.
The rise of extremism and growth of unrest in Gilgit Baltistan shows that sectarianism is officially being promoted as a calibrated policy to keep people engaged in trivial issues.
An individual named Ahmad Marwat claiming to be the commander of the banned terrorist group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the act by contacting the media after the incident.
The leaders of MWM condemned the continued, targeted killings of Shias. They also blasted the government for its failure in maintaining law and order in Gilgit-Baltistan and called on it to take immediate action against those involved in the sectarian killings. The leaders claimed hundreds of people had died in Parachinar, Hangu, Quetta and Gilgit- Baltistan, and accused the authorities of watching silently the loss of Shia community.
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