Gunmen kill nine Punjabi labourers in Balochistan.


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May 28, 2011
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Gunmen kill nine labourers in Pakistan.

Published: 8:04 pm, Sunday, 19 October 2014

Suspected separatist insurgents in southwest Pakistan have killed nine labourers in what appeared to be an ethnically motivated attack, officials say.

The gunmen stormed a poultry farm in the early hours of Sunday in the town of Hub, about 640 kilometres southwest of Baluchistan province's capital city, Quetta.

They kidnapped 11 labourers, senior local administration official Fawad Soomro said, and questioned them over their ethnicities.

'They blindfolded the nine workers belonging to Punjab province and shot them while setting the two Baluch workers free,' he said.

He added the freed Baluch workers made their way to a police station to report the crime.

Akbar Harifal, another senior district administration official, confirmed the incident.

'Hub is a developing industrial town where most of the workforce comes from Karachi and from cities in Punjab province,' he said.

Resource-rich but poor Baluchistan is in the midst of its fifth uprising against Pakistani rule.

Its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.

Separatists also chafe at the outsize influence of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, and the influx of migrant workers from other parts of the country.

Last week, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said more than 300,000 people had left Baluchistan in the past 10 years due to rising unrest.

Hundreds of soldiers and militants have been killed in fighting since the insurgency was revived in 2004.

Rights groups allege security forces have also fuelled bloodshed by picking up non-militant separatists, including academics and students, torturing them and dumping their bodies on the streets.

The insurgency gained in intensity after the 2006 killing of 79-year-old Baluch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a revered figure for many rebels.

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