Gunmen killed at least 14 people after forcing them to disembark from buses in Pakistan's Balochistan, officials said Thursday, in the latest attack claimed by separatists in the restive southwestern province.
In the past, minority Shia Muslims and ethnic workers from the Punjab province have been targeted in such attacks. The terrorists then separated 16 of the passengers after checking their identity documents. Two passengers managed to escape with injuries.
Almost 20 armed assailants wearing Frontier Corps uniforms stopped the bus and handpicked their victims in the dead of night, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported, citing senior Balochistan police officers.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack on the passengers who were travelling on a coastal highway from the financial hub of Karachi towards Gwadar, the Arabian Sea port town where China is building a deep-water port.
Levies and other law enforcement personnel later secured the spot and launched an investigation into the incident. The identity of the victims is yet to be known.
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". those who were targeted carried [identification] cards of the Pakistan Navy and Coast Guards, and they were only killed after they were identified", the spokesperson for the Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) said in the statement, al jazeera said.
A similar incident took place in Balochistan's Mastung area in 2015, when armed men kidnapped about two dozen passengers from two Karachi-bound coaches and killed at least 19 of them in the mountainous area of Khad Kocha.
Those who were not from Balochistan were marched off the bus and shot dead. He also prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and forbearance of the bereaved families.
Mr Dashti said the gunmen forced the passengers off the vehicle on the Makran Coastal Highway in Balochistan. "They took them and killed them", Langove said.
Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, as well as the site of Islamist, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.