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11 passengers shot dead in southwestern Pakistan

Gunmen shot dead at least 11 passengers in two separate incidents in southwestern Pakistan, an official said on Saturday.

The incidents took place late Friday night in Nushki, the remote district of southwestern Balochistan province, when unidentified gunmen blocked a main highway, which connects Pakistan with Iran, and killed the passengers, Deputy Commissioner Nushki Habibullah Mosakhel told reporters.

In the first incident, the gunmen intercepted a vehicle and abducted nine passengers, mostly laborers, after checking their identity and fled to nearby mountains. All the nine abductees were later shot dead, and their bodies were dumped near a bridge, the official said.

The deceased belonged to northwestern Punjab, the country's largest province.

In a separate incident, gunmen, believed to have been part of the same group that killed the laborers, opened fire on a passenger bus that did not stop, killing two people and injuring another five.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, albeit ethnic Baloch separatists have long been targeting workers from other parts of the country, mainly Punjab.

In October last year, gunmen killed six construction workers and injured two others in a pre-dawn attack on their camp near Turbat district.


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