11 coal miners shot dead, four others wounded by gunmen in Balochistan's Machh

No group has yet claimed responsibility so far, but banned Sunni extremist organisation Lashker-e-Jhangvi has previously targetted the minority Hazara community in Balochistan

Press Trust of India January 03, 2021 18:55:57 IST
11 coal miners shot dead, four others wounded by gunmen in Balochistan's Machh

People from the Shiite Hazara community mourn around the bodies of coal mine workers who were killed by unknown gunmen near a coal field in Quetta, Pakistan. AP

Karachi: At least 11 coal miners from Pakistan's Shia Hazara community were killed and four others injured on Sunday by unidentified gunmen who initially kidnapped them in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan, in the latest targeted attack on the minority communities in the country.

According to police, the miners were on the way to work at Machh coal field when the unidentified gunmen kidnapped them and opened fire on them after taking them to the nearby hills, the Express Tribune reported.

Six of the miners died on the spot and five who were critically wounded died on the way to a hospital. Four others were also injured. According to media reports, an initial investigation has revealed that the attackers identified the miners as being from a Shia Hazara community and the gunmen took them away, leaving others unharmed.

A heavy contingent of police, Frontier Corps, and district administration officials reached the site after the incident. Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the killing of 11 coal miners and termed the incident a "yet another cowardly [and] inhumane act of terrorism".' The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the [government], Imran tweeted. Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers and bring them to justice.

Balochistan chief minister Jam Kamal Khan has condemned the incident and sought an inquiry report from the authorities concerned, the daily reported. "Those who targeted these innocent coal miners do not deserve any concessions," he said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the killing, but banned Sunni extremist organisation Lashker-e-Jhangvi has targeted the minority Hazara community in Balochistan in the past.

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