Eight killed, 26 injured in Chilas bus attack


Gilgit: At least 8 people were killed while 26 others sustained injuries when unidentified militants opened indiscriminate gunfire on a passenger bus in Chilas on Saturday evening.

According to the Diamer deputy commissioner, the bus bearing registration number BLN 4647 and operated by private travel company K2 Travels, was en route from Ghizer to Rawalpindi when unknown armed men, riding motorcycles, intercepted the bus near Hudur area of Chilas on KKH and opened indiscriminate firing, killing the bus driver on the spot. Consequently, the bus veered off course, colliding with a cargo truck approaching from the opposite direction.
The militants managed to flee the scene after carrying out the assault.

After the incident, Rescue 1122 and police shifted the injured to the RHQ Hospital in Chilas for urgent medical assistance.
Rescue sources said some of the injured were in critical condition and expressed concerns that the death toll might increase.
As of yet, no terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.

While Gilgit Baltistan has experienced relative peace in recent years, this unexpected assault has instilled fear and panic among the residents. The region has witnessed a few isolated incidents of militant attacks in the past and this latest occurrence serves as a sombre reminder of the persistent security challenges faced by the area.

Meanwhile, Diamer SSP told local reporters that all passenger vehicles entering the district were being moved in large convoys to ensure the safety of passengers.

He said they were currently engaged in a comprehensive investigation into the gruesome incident to bring the culprits to justice.

On the other hand, Gilgit Baltistan Interior Minister Shams Loan condemned the barbaric attack in a press conference. He informed media persons that the Gilgit Baltistan inspector general of police has left for Chilas to expedite the ongoing investigations on the directives of chief minister Haji Hulbar Khan.

He said the perpetrators of the attack would face the full force law and urged the people of the region to hold on to the principles of unity and brotherhood.

Moreover, Special Advisor the GB Chief Minster Iman Shan also condemned the attack, stating that law enforcement agencies are working diligently to apprehend the culprits. He said terrorists will not be allowed to stir unrest in the region. He furthered that the Gilgit Baltistan inspector general of police is personally supervising the investigation into the incident.

Among others, former Gilgit Baltistan chief minister Khalid Khurshid also vehemently condemned the appalling assault on innocent civilians and demanded swift justice for victims.

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