Two Christians killed in SW Pakistan: officials

Pakistani Christians mourn the death of relatives who were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church, at a hospital in Quetta on April 15, 2018 (AFP Photo/BANARAS KHAN) (AFP)

Two Christians were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southwestern Pakistan Sunday, officials said, the second such attack on the minority community in the area this month.

Unidentified gunmen on motorbikes opened fire at a group of Christians outside a church in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province.

"Four men on two motorbikes opened indiscriminate fire, killing two people while injuring three others," local police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP.

The attack happened in the Christian-majority Esa Nagri neighbourhood of Quetta, where hundreds gathered to protest the killings.

"Around 500" protesters blocked a road by placing the bodies of the two victims in the middle, said local official Javed Anwar Shawani.

"We are negotiating with them to make them disperse and bury" the victims, he added.

The shooting comes just weeks after four Christians were shot dead in the city, an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Sunday shooting. Islamist militants have claimed past attacks on religious minorities in the area.

In December last year, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a Quetta church, which was packed with worshippers, killing nine people and wounding over a dozen.

Christians make up less than two percent of Muslim-majority Pakistan's 200 million people, and have long faced discrimination and violence.