Taliban-linked gunmen kill 43 bus passengers in Karachi, Pakistan

Taliban-linked gunmen killed 43 Shiite passengers on a bus in Karachi
(Image credit: Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, six gunmen stopped and boarded a bus in Karachi, Pakistan, and opened fire on the Ismaili Shiite passengers, killing 43 people, police officials said. The Taliban splinter group Jundullah claimed responsibility for the murders, with a purported spokesman saying it was because they were "kafir," or non-Muslim. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack, saying that the "terrorists have chosen a very peaceful and patriotic community to target in order to achieve their nefarious designs."

This was the latest attack by the Taliban and other Sunni militants on Pakistan's religious minorities, but attacks against the Ismailis are rare. Pakistan is about 70 percent Sunni and 20 percent Shiite. The Ismailis, like other Shiites, "revere Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed," the BBC explains, "but they also revere the Imam Ismail who died in 765 AD."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.