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Gunmen Kill 11 Minority Shiite Coal Miners in Pakistan's Baluchistan Province

Representative Image

Representative Image

Moazzam Ali Jatoi, an official with the Levies Force, which serves as police and paramilitary in the area, said the attack took place near the Machh coal field, about 48 kilometers (30 miles) east of the provincial capital Quetta.

Gunmen opened fire on a group of minority Shiite Hazara coal miners after abducting them, killing 11 in southwestern Baluchistan province early Sunday, a Pakistani official said.

Moazzam Ali Jatoi, an official with the Levies Force, which serves as police and paramilitary in the area, said the attack took place near the Machh coal field, about 48 kilometers (30 miles) east of the provincial capital Quetta.

Jatoi said armed men took the coal miners to nearby mountains, where they opened fire on them. He said six of the miners were dead on the spot and five who were critically wounded died on the way to a hospital.

Jatoi said an initial investigation revealed the attackers identified the miners as being from a Shiite Hazara community and the gunmen took them away for execution, leaving others unharmed.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but banned Sunni extremist organization Lashker-e-Jhangvi has targeted the minority Hazara community in Baluchistan in the past.

Local television footage showed security troops surrounding a desolated mountainous area diverting traffic and guiding ambulances to pick up the bodies. Security forces were also seen spreading out in the mountains to search for the perpetrators.

Baluchistan is the scene of a low level insurgency by Baluch separatist groups who also have targeted non-Baluch laborers, but they have no history of attacks on the minority Shiite community.


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