• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Militants kill six Punjab migrant workers in Pakistan’s Balochistan

The dead bodies and the injured individual have all been shifted to the Gwadar Hospital. (Representative image: iStock)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Militants shot dead six people and injured another person in a late-night attack in Balochistan, just 15 miles away from Gwadar port, on Wednesday.

Punjab is the most populous and influential group in the country. Surprisingly, they were targeted and attacked at their homes.

A second police official Zohaib Ahmad confirmed the death toll. According to Gwadar Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) Mohsin Ali, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a residential quarter near the Gwadar Fish Harbour in the Surbandar area, leaving seven dead and one injured.

The attacked migrant workers had shifted from Punjab to Balchistan near China-handled Gwadar port. The police reported that the workers who had migrated were working as barbers and were likely targeted because of their identity.

“We are investigating the matter at the moment but it looks like they were attacked because they were Punjabis,” said Muhammad Mohsin, a senior police official in Gwadar, adding that six were killed and one was injured.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zia Ullah Langau has ordered an investigation into the killing of the seven deceased, terming it “open terrorism”. He has also said the killing of workers is a cowardly move, terrorists will be dealt with strictly.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest but poorest province, despite an abundance of natural resources. Militants have in the past targeted ethnic Punjabis and Sindhis, as well as foreign interests that they believe are exploiting the impoverished region without sharing its riches.

Last month 11 Punjabi labourers were killed in the region when six gunmen stopped a bus near the city of Naushki in Balochistan province.

Beijing is Islamabad’s closest regional ally, frequently offering financial assistance to support its often-struggling neighbour and pouring more than £1.5 trillion into infrastructure projects.

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