Seven Dead in Pakistan Ambush
Gunmen killed seven people, four from the same family, in an ambush on a vehicle in Pakistan's tribal northwest on Thursday, in a possible sectarian attack, officials said.
The vehicle carrying eight passengers was on its way from the town of Ali Zai in Lower Kurram to Parachinar as the nation celebrated the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, local administration chief Javedullah Khan told Agence France Presse.
The victims were all from the minority Shiite community, he said.
"Gunmen hiding behind the bushes along the road opened fire when (the vehicle) reached Makhizai area," he said, giving the death toll and adding that the eighth passenger was injured.
A local security official confirmed the attack in the lawless region which is often troubled by sectarian violence.
But no one immediately claimed responsibility and Khan said authorities had not ruled out the motive being a family vendetta.
Kurram has a history of clashes between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites and a similar incident there in July left seven Shiites dead.
Shiites account for some 20 percent of Pakistan's mostly Sunni Muslim population of over 160 million.
More than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence between the groups across the country since the late 1980s.
Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal districts bordering Afghanistan are rife with a homegrown insurgency, and are also strongholds of the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida linked militants.
Washington has described the region as the most dangerous place on Earth.