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August 2012 Mansehra Shia massacre refers to the massacre of 25[1] Shia Muslim residents of Gilgit-Baltistan travelling from Rawalpindi, Punjab to Gilgit, Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan. The bus was stopped in Mansehra District and the people were killed after checking their identification cards which showed they were from the Shia community by individuals dressed in Military uniforms.[2][3][4] Darra Adam Khel faction of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has claimed the responsibility for the attack.[5]


Religious extremism is prevalent in Pakistan. Members of the Shia community are targeted in a number of attacks against them in the country. There have been several Incidents of killing of Shia Muslims and bomb blasts in the Shia mosque in Pakistan.[6] The Sunni extremist groups allied to or inspired by al-Qaeda and the Taliban routinely attack government and civilian targets in north-west Pakistan. They also attack the religious minorities and other Muslim sects that they consider to be infidels.[7] The Shias in Pakistan frequently complain that "the Pakistani state does little to stop the attacks and has even released from custody notorious militants accused of carrying them out."[7]

The sectarian violence incidents happened after the radical Islamisation policies of former military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq. In Gilgit Batistan sectarian violence emerged after the 1980s when religious extremists from tribal areas, Kohistan and Diamer attacked Gilgit.[8]

The Pakistan government had planned and organised settlement of non-locals from tribal areas, Kohistan, Kashmir and parts of Punjab which further deteriorated the situation. This transformed the demography of the locals. In the 1990s the ratio of locals to non-locals was 4:1 but now it has been raised to 4:3. The rise of extremism and growth of unrest in Gilgit Baltistan shows that sectarianism is officially being promoted as a calibrated policy to keep people engaged in trivial issues.[8] A systematic ethnic cleansing of Shia community is being carried out in Pakistan administered Kashmir.[9]


Three buses were travelling from Rawalpindi, Punjab to Gilgit, Gilgit Baltistan. On a section of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), in Mansehra District (an area dominated by Sunni tribes), 10 to 12 gunmen in military uniform flagged the buses for stopping. After the bus halted, the gunmen climbed on board and asked passengers for identification. They checked the identity cards of all the passengers. After which the gunmen dragged a group of Shia men. They were then sprayed with bullets from AK-47 Assault rifle.[1][5][10]


  • United Nations The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon termed the massacre as "appalling".[11]


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