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May 20, 2017

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Three Silk Road workers gunned down in Balochistan

Three Silk Road workers gunned down in Balochistan

QUETTA: Suspected militants on Friday gunned down three workers building the "Silk Road" highway in the Balochistan province, just days after a similar attack killed 10, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but previous attacks in Balochistan have been unleashed by separatists. Last week's attacks were claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).

The men killed on Friday were part of a team working near Turbat on a major highway linking the port-city of Gwadar to the provincial capital of Quetta, said Sarmad Saleem, a regional official.

"One labourer died on the spot and two others succumbed to their injuries in hospital," Saleem said. They were making a trip to a marketplace in the small town of Hoshab, 280 km (174 miles) from Gwadar, to buy daily supplies, an official of the paramilitary force overseeing security in Balochistan, told Reuters.

Balochistan Levies informed a private TV channel that the workers hailed from Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan District. The deceased identified as Mohammad Tahir, Mohammad Nasir and Mohammad Sawal were working on the road construction site under the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).

The dead were shifted to a nearby hospital. The assailants managed to flee on a motorcycle. Levies and Frontier Corps personnel reached the spot to initiate an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister (CM) Nawab Sanaullah Zehri condemned the attack and expressed grief over acts of terrorism targeting labourers. “We will take strict action against those who are targeting innocent citizens," the CM said. All efforts of people who want to impede Balochistan’s progress will be thwarted, he added. Militants have killed at least 54 workers there since 2014, security officials say.

 

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