A Pakistani policeman, standing guard. Photograph: (Getty)
The five killed were members of the same family. As of yet the assailants, who fled on motorcycles, are unknown
Five members of the same family including a woman were killed, and six others injured, when unknown assailants opened fire today at a Shia religious gathering in Pakistan.
The incident took place outside the home of a Shia Muslim doctor in Karachi's Nazimabad area, where people had gathered for a religious meeting.
"Four men wearing helmets and riding on motorcycles came to the house where the religious gathering was taking place in the month of Muharram and they opened indiscriminate firing on the people standing at the gate," a senior police official said.
Dawn reports that the dead and injured were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, located nearby.
The hospital's Dr Roohina said six other injured people were also brought with bullet wounds, and the condition of two patients was critical.
The Sindh police's Nasir Aftab told media that the residents of the house had not sought security for having the private Majlis (a place of sitting, often for social or religious purposes in Islamic countries).
"The police was not informed about this religious gathering and there was no security," he said.
As it happens, the house outside which the firing took place is located in a lane just behind the Nazimabad police station and is also close to a Rangers (police) checkpoint.
Inspector General Sindh and AD Khawaja said that the Majlis was taking place at the house of Dr Asad Kohati who was targeted first by the gunmen who came and opened fire and fled away.
The attack took place despite the security agencies and law enforcement agencies being on high alert during the month of Muharram when Shia Muslims hold religious gathering throughout the month.
Earlier in October, a boy was killed and injured were 15 other people, among them women and children, after an explosion was said to have taken place outside Dar-i-Abbas Imambargah, in the Liaquatabad area of Karachi.
(With inputs from PTI)