At least 11 coal miners were killed in the Mach area of Balochistan on Sunday after armed militants kidnapped them and took them to a nearby area before opening fire at close range.
Police authorities said the miners were on the way to work when armed militants kidnapped them and took them to the nearby mountains. Moazzam Ali Jatoi, an official with the Levies Force, 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 the Shia Hazara community and the gunmen took them away for execution, leaving others unharmed.
Reuters reported that the militant Islamic State (IS) group later claimed responsibility for the attack, through its Amaq news agency via its Telegram communications channel. Dawn hasn’t been able to independently verify the claim.
Hazaras have been frequently targeted by Taliban and IS militants and other militant groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The attacks in Afghanistan have been claimed by an affiliate of the IS.
According to Quetta Deputy Commissioner Murad Kaas, no case has been registered so far.
A heavy contingent of police, Frontier Corps, and district administration officials reached the site after the incident.
Following the attack, members of the Hazara community in Quetta blocked the Western Bypass and set fire to tyres to protest against the killings.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the miners’ killing, terming it “yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism”.
“Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers & bring them to justice. The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the govt,”