ISIS claims responsibility for killing of Pakistani Christian family
Posted April 3, 2018 12:58 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack which killed four Christians in Pakistan's Balochistan province on Easter Monday.
An Islamic State press statement released on Tuesday said that a "covert unit" of ISIS militants "managed to target a number of the combatant Christians."
The statement adds that the militants "shot them with a pistol, which resulted in the killing of four of them, and all praise is due to Allah"
The shooting, which targeted a single family, occurred in the western city of Quetta, the provincial capital.
Armed men opened fire at a rickshaw carrying the family of three who were returning home from a bazaar at around 6:45 p.m. (9.45 a.m. ET) local time. The men fled on a motorcycle.
All the victims, including the rickshaw driver, were members of the local Christian community, police officer Muhammad Anwar told CNN.
The terror group has claimed responsibility but so far has not offered evidence of its involvement. The city has seen a rise in attacks by militants including ISIS-affiliated groups.
Pakistan's Christian minority has often been targeted by militants.
In December, a suicide bomber attacked a Methodist church packed with worshipers in the same city, leaving seven people dead and more than 20 others injured. It was claimed by the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as ISIS Khorasan.
In 2016, a Pakistani Taliban splinter group targeting Christians killed a bystander and injured three members of Pakistan's security forces when suicide bombers struck a Christian neighborhood near Warsak Dam on the outskirts of Peshawar, according to the Pakistan's military.
Also in 2016, an Easter Sunday bombing targeting Christians at an amusement park in the eastern city of Lahore which killed at least 69 people, and a blast at a hospital in Quetta which killed 72 people.