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Pakistan official: 17 killed in attack on Shiites

QUETTA, Pakistan – A government official says a suicide bomber driving a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into a bus carrying Shiite Muslim pilgrims in southwest Pakistan, killing 17 people.

Tufail Ahmed says more than 20 people were wounded in the attack Sunday in Baluchistan province’s Mastung district. The blast destroyed the bus that was hit and damaged a second bus carrying Shiites that was close by.

An eyewitness who was traveling in the second bus told Geo TV that the pilgrims were headed to neighboring Iran, a majority Shiite country that is a popular religious tourism destination. The eyewitness did not provide his name.

Pakistan has experienced a spike in killings over the last year by radical Sunni Muslims targeting Shiites who they consider heretics, especially in Baluchistan.

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