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21 Aug 2019, 15:11 HRS IST
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  • PTI
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  • 14 passengers shot dead after being offloaded from buses in Pak

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13:34 HRS IST

Karachi, Apr 18 (PTI) Unidentified gunmen donning uniforms of paramilitary personnel Thursday shot dead at least 14 passengers after forcing them to disembark from buses on a highway in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, in the latest targeted killing in the country

Around 15 to 20 gunmen stopped five to six buses travelling between Karachi and Gwadar. They stopped the buses on the Makran Coastal Highway in Balochistan's Ormara area, checked their identity cards and offloaded them before shooting them dead, police said

Balochistan Inspector General of Police Mohsin Hassan Butt said around 15 to 20 unidentified gunmen wearing uniforms of paramilitary Frontier Corps were involved in the attack carried out early morning at Buzi Top area

"A total of 16 people were offloaded and 14 killed while 2 managed to escape," the officer said

Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove told the media that the attackers used their fatigue as a disguise to carry out a routine check on the passengers

"We have launched a probe to identify and arrest the attackers," he said, adding that the deceased have not been identified

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal condemned the incident and offered his condolences to the victims' families

"These cowardly terrorists showed the extent of their barbarism by murdering innocent passengers," the chief minister said

He described the attack as a conspiracy to halt progress in Balochistan and tarnish the country's image, and assured that "progress will continue no matter what"

The motive behind the killings is yet to be ascertained and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies

In the past, minority Shia Muslims and ethnic workers from the Punjab province have been targeted in such attacks

An ISIS suicide attack targeting Hazara Shias in the provincial capital of Quetta last week killed 21 people and injured 60 others

Armed gunmen kidnapped about two dozen passengers from two Karachi-bound coaches from Balochistan's Mastung area in 2015, killing at least 19 of them in the mountainous area of Khad Kocha.

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