United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has strongly condemned an attack in Pakistan in which at least 18 people were killed and eight others were injured.

The suspected sectarian attack occurred when gunmen dressed in army uniforms stopped a bus, ordered the passengers to get down and opened fire at them. The pre-dawn attack took place in Kohistan district in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as reported.   

"The secretary-general strongly condemns the attack in Pakistan today in which gunmen reportedly killed eighteen people after ordering them off a bus travelling between Islamabad and the town of Gilgit," Xinhua quoted a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman Tuesday. 

"The secretary-general extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this abhorrent attack, as well as to the government of Pakistan," it said.

"The United Nations stands by Pakistan in its efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism and extremism, which continues to claim the lives of so many Pakistanis," the statement added. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also condemned the attack.

(Agencies)