Grisly attack: In cold blood, gunmen kill six labourers in Pasni

Sunday, February 24th, 2013 10:30:23 by

QUETTA: Gunmen shot dead six labourers in Gwadar district in the wee hours of Sunday in a grisly attack that came over a month after President Asif Zardari declared governor’s rule in Balochistan to stem the rising tide of ethnic, sectarian and militant violence in the province.

“Gunmen riding motorcycles opened fire on the labourers who were working on the Makran Coastal Highway in Shadi Kaur area, some 25 kilometres from Pasni city,” Assistant Commissioner Naeem Gichki told The Express Tribune. The attackers, however, spared a 12-year-old boy at the site.

The Makran Coastal Highway connects Gwadar port city with Karachi. The strategically located Gwadar deep seaport was recently handed over to China – a move disfavoured by India.

Another district administration official contradicted Gichki’s account. “The labourers were forced out of a roadside camp and lined up before being shot dead by the attackers,” the official said requesting anonymity.

All the labourers died on the spot. Levies personnel, later, shifted the bodies to the Pasni hospital before sending them to their hometown for burial.

“The incident took place at around 2am on Sunday,” Gichki said, adding the
labourers were brought in from Quetta to work on the highway. He identified the victims as Abdul Haleem, Muhammad Yousaf, Muhammad Yaqoob, Nooruddin, Kahlo Jan, Yameen and Rehmatullah, all residents of Zhob district.

“A local contractor brought them (the labourers) from Quetta a day earlier to repair the highway,” Sayed Ghayazuddin, the district police officer (DPO) confirmed to The Express Tribune.

He claimed Gwadar’s deputy commissioner had warned against such an attack in Pasni in a February 21 official communication.

“The deputy commissioner had ordered the establishment of checkpoints at the entry and exit points of Pasni to thwart such an attack … the checkpoints were being set up when this attack took place,” he added.

Police registered the case and, according to DPO Ghayazuddin, a manhunt has been launched for the attackers.

Relatives of the victims, meanwhile, staged a protest outside the Quetta press club and demanded immediate arrest of the perpetrators.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. But Baloch insurgent groups have been blamed for such attacks in the past.

Balochistan has been in the grip of a low-level insurgency since 2004. The insurrection, however, became deadlier following the killing of Baloch chieftain and Jamhoori Wattan Party chief Nawab Akbar Bugti in a military operation in 2006.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2013.

Quetta News Sources -2

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