In a country awash in violence, what happened in Pakistan just before New Year’s Day may set a new standard of depravity.
Fourteen members of the same family (including women and children) in the industrial city of Gujranwala in the Punjab province were murdered by members of another family as part of an ongoing feud and dispute over land.
Another five family members were injured in the attack in the Pipliwala village of Gujranwala on Thursday morning.
Gujranwala is 46 miles north of Lahore.
According to the Express Tribune newspaper of Pakistan, members of the Goraya family were killed in three separate attacks. These murders were allegedly carried out by members of another family (also named Goraya, confusingly) to avenge the killing of two of their men by the first Goraya clan.
The survivors of the attacks said that the after breaking into the houses, the perpetrators indiscriminately opened fire and later threw petrol at the houses to burn them down.
Two of the injured were described as being in critical condition after being taken first to Gujranwala district headquarters (DHQ) hospital. The other three wounded are expected to make a full recovery.
The PTI news agency reported that the feud between the families had to do with a dispute over the possession of some land.
There are also some questions over why the police delayed in investigating the mass murders.
According to local media, by the time Gujranwala police officers showed up that the site of the killings, the alleged culprits had enough time to flee the premises.
However other reports said that police had made two arrests in connection with the killings.
A police official named Muhammad Idrees told local media: The delayed police response will be probed and those responsible will be taken to task.