Pakistan shooting: At least 14 killed as gunmen storm bus in Balochistan district

Victims selectively shot after attackers checked their identities, officials say

Tom Barnes@thomas_barnes
Thursday 18 April 2019 08:41
The bus has been travelling to the city of Gwadar in Balochistan province when the attack took place
The bus has been travelling to the city of Gwadar in Balochistan province when the attack took place

Gunmen killed 14 people after ambushing a passenger bus in southwestern Pakistan, local authorities have said.

Around 35 people are thought to have been travelling from Karachi to Gwadar when armed men stopped the vehicle, checked the identities of those on board and then began shooting people selectively.

It is not yet clear why specific passengers were targeted, said officials in Balochistan province, where the attack took place.

Prime minister Imran Khan condemned the attack, calling it “an act of terror”.

He ordered authorities “to make every possible effort to identify and to bring the perpetrators of the barbaric act to justice”.

Separatists in Balochistan frequently target Pakistani security forces and also people from neighbouring Punjab province.

Punjabis, a different ethnic group from the Baluch, tend to dominate the ranks of military units fighting against separatists in the province.

Four local TV channels said the bus had been missing since early Thursday from the coastal highway linking Karachi and Gwadar.

Jehangir Dashti, a Balochistan official, said “dozens of gunmen” were involved in the attack and fled the scene afterwards.

“In this tragic incident, 14 passengers were forced off the bus, they were lined up in a nearby open area and killed by the terrorists,” he added.

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Information minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan had made great sacrifices in the war on terror, which has not ended yet.

Separatists have for years waged a low-level insurgency in oil-rich Balochistan, complaining of discrimination and demanding a fairer share of the province's resources and wealth.

Other militant groups also operate in the province. Last Friday, a suicide bomber targeted an open-air market in Quetta, killing 20 people in an attack claimed by Isis.

Additional reporting by agencies

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