At least nine people were killed, and 25 others injured when unidentified assailants opened fire on a passenger bus in Chilas located in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
The armed assailants on motorcycles fired indiscriminately at the bus, which was travelling from Ghizer District to Islamabad.
As a result, some passengers including the driver died on the spot, while others were injured. As the driver was shot dead, the bus swerved and collided with a cargo truck coming from the opposite direction.
The assailants managed to escape from the scene after the attack.
Rescue officials said some injured were in critical condition, and they were shifted to the nearby regional headquarters hospital for treatment. The death toll could rise, they added.
A search operation had been launched by the police to apprehend the culprits.
Bodies dispatched to native towns
The bodies of those killed in the firing in Chilas were shifted to their native areas.
On the other hand, the condition of most of the injured was said to be out of danger and their treatment was ongoing at the Regional Headquarters Hospital, Chilas.
The chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan directed to provide better medical aid to the injured.
According to the deputy commissioner (DC) of Diamer, the incident occurred around 6pm. He said that the passengers hailed from Peshawar, Kohistan, and Chilas.
GB has been a relatively peaceful region in recent years. However, there have been a few attacks by militants in the past. The latest attack has caused widespread fear and panic among the residents of Chilas.
GB Home Minister Shams Lone expressed concerns about the possible involvement of India in the Chilas bus attack.