At least 18 people were killed today, including a number of women and three children, when unidentified gunmen on motorcycles attacked a small gas station in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province.
A large passenger van full of people was filling up at the station during the attack when the gunmen rode up, opened fire on the pump, and caused a major explosion that destroyed the van, killed everyone within, and caused a fire that burned five nearby shops to the ground.
Though no one has claimed credit for the attack there is speculation that it could be sectarian in nature, as sectarian attacks have been dramatically on the rise over the past year, and the gas station attacked was believed to be selling smuggled Iranian gasoline.
Smuggling gasoline across the border is potentially a very lucrative business, as the prices are heavily subsidized in Iranian Balochistan. The fire may have been worse since some of the shops were holding smuggled gasoline in above ground containers.
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