Eight killed, 26 injured in firing on passenger bus in Chilas
The bus was going to Rawalpindi from Ghizer valley
GILGIT (Dunya News) – At least eight people were killed and more than two dozen injured in a gun attack on a passenger bus in Chilas, Gilgit-Baltisitan, on Saturday.
Police sources said that unknown men targeted the bus, which later caught fire, adding that women and children were among the wounded people. The bus was going to Rawalpindi from Ghizer valley.
They said 26 people, who were injured in the attack, have been shifted to Regional Headquarters Hospital Chilas for treatment.
Police have reached the site and cordoned off the area.
The victims belong to all of Pakistan, including Kohistan, Peshawar, Ghizer, Chilas, Roundu, Skardu, Mansehra, Swabi and one or two people from Sindh.
DC Ahmad said two Pakistan Army soldiers were also martyred in the “cowardly act” while one personnel of the Special Protection Unit was injured as well.
Diamer Superintendent of Police Sardar Shehryar said the first responders on the scene were police officers who moved the dead and the injured, adding that the truck which had collided with the bus was also on fire and its driver killed.
GB Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan condemned the “cowardly act of terrorism”, said a statement issued from his office.
It added that a special team was formed for the investigation of the incident and a thorough inquiry was being conducted.
“The government will ensure that the terrorists involved in the attack are given the appropriate punishment and brought to justice.
They will be apprehended and kept in custody according to the law, and strict punishment will be given.
The government will utilise all its resources to apprehend the criminals.
“The government of Gilgit-Baltistan will bear all the expenses of the injured individuals and will ensure better medical facilities.
The departments concerned have been given instructions for this purpose,” the statement said.
It added that law enforcement agencies were issued strict orders for the immediate arrest of the criminals and the GB inspector general of police would oversee the process to ensure that the identification of anti-state elements could be carried out so they could be given strict punishments.
“The government of Gilgit-Baltistan stands with the affected individuals in this difficult time. The blood of the martyrs will not go in vain, and all the murderers will be brought to justice,” the statement quoted the chief minister as saying.
He also said that the regional government was taking every possible step to establish peace in the region and “no one would be allowed to sabotage” it.
GB Home Minister Shams Lone also condemned the attack in a press conference. However, he said eight people were dead and 16 were injured according to the government’s count.
Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in terror activities in recent months, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the banned militant Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended its ceasefire with the government last year.