Heavily-armed militants donning police uniforms attacked a bus on Wednesday carrying Shia Ismaili Muslims and shot them in the head, killing at least 47 people and leaving behind a pamphlet of ISIS claiming responsibility for the grisly attack in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.
Police officials said it appeared that six to eight assailants on motorbikes first opened fire on the bus just near the Dow Medical College and then entered the bus when it stopped at Safoora Chorangi, Gulistan-e-Johar area of Karachi.
The attackers killed 47 people, including 16 women, and wounded more than 20 others before fleeing from the scene.
“It was a targeted attack,” Sindh Police Inspector General Ghulam Haider Jamali told reporters.
The death toll could further rise as some persons are seriously injured. The injured and dead were shifted to various hospitals by rescue workers.
A senior police official said the attackers entered the bus and shot the passengers in the head.
A blood-stained pamphlet of terrorist group Islamic State was recovered from the scene, according to a police official. But the government has not so far named any group for the attack.
Balochistan-based militant group Jundullah also claimed responsibility for the attack.
A rescue official quoted a victim as saying that the attackers were dressed in police uniforms.
Jamali said initial investigations showed that the armed men used 9mm pistols in the massacre. Empty bullet shells of pistols and Kalashnikovs were found at the scene.
This was the worst attack targeting the members of the minority community after a suicide bomber in January blew himself up in a Shia mosque in Shikarpur in the Sindh province killing 61 worshippers and bystanders.