Imran Khan calls Isis slaughter of Shia coal miners ‘inhumane act of terror’

Islamic State took the responsibility of killing the miners belonging to Shia Hazara community 

Namita Singh
Monday 04 January 2021 11:05
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<p>Mourners from Shiite Hazara community chant slogans near the coffins of the miners who were killed in an attack by gunmen in the mountainous Machh area, during a sit-in protest at the eastern bypass, on the outskits of Quetta on January 4, 2021.</p>

Mourners from Shiite Hazara community chant slogans near the coffins of the miners who were killed in an attack by gunmen in the mountainous Machh area, during a sit-in protest at the eastern bypass, on the outskits of Quetta on January 4, 2021.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the killing of 11 coal miners in the western province of Balochistan as a “cowardly inhumane act of  terrorism,” and assured the families of the victims that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

"Have asked the FC [Fronteir Corps] 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 [sic]," Mr Khan said. 

The Islamic State on Sunday took responsibility for the murder of the 11 miners, all belonging to the minority Shia Hazara community, reported Reuters. 

In the wee hours on Sunday, unidentified gunmen kidnapped the miners who were on their way to work and opened fire on them after taking them to the Machh area.   

“The throats of all coal miners have been slit, after their hands were tied behind their backs and (they were) blindfolded,” a security official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

According to the police, six of the miners died on the spot, and five who were critically injured died on their way to the hospital. 

Quetta, a city in Balochistan province is home to more than half a million Shia Hazara and have been frequently targeted by the Taliban, IS and other armed militant groups. 

Earlier in April 2019, about 21 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Balochistan, of which eight were from the Hazara community. In  February 2013, 79 were killed and about 180 injured after a bomb hidden in a water tank exploded at a market in Hazara Town on the outskirts of Quetta while a twin suicide bomb attack in January 2013 had killed at least 115 people. 

Following Sunday’s attack, the locals in Quetta blocked the western bypass in protest against the killings. 

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