A suicide car bomber attacked a busload of Pakistani pilgrims returning from Iran today, killing at least 14 people and wounding 30 others. Two of the slain were reportedly Pakistani police who were providing an escort for the returning bus.
The pilgrims were Shi’ites who had just gotten back into the country, and were hit in Balochistan, not far from the Iranian border. So far no group has claimed credit, but this is the second time that Shi’ite pilgrims have been hit in the area in just over a week.
A number of Balochistan separatist movements, notably Jundallah, are fiercely anti-Shi’ite, and have launched targets against religious pilgrims in the region as well as Shi’ite religious sites inside Iran.
Religious pilgrimages have become increasingly dangerous for Shi’ites in the region, and Pakistan’s government has deployed military and police escorts in an attempt to protect them. So far, however, this seems to have done little to prevent the attacks.