World Bulletin / News Desk
Suspected Baloch insurgents on Friday gunned down six laborers in southwestern Balochistan province, local media reported.
The incident took place in remote Kharan district located, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the provincial capital Quetta, local broadcaster Dawn News reported quoting government officials.
All the victims belonged to Punjab, the country’s largest province, and were working on the construction of a mobile phone tower in the region, the channel reported.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. However, suspected Baloch separatists have repeatedly targeted laborers working on different development projects, including $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for the last several months.
Four laborers working on a development project were gunned down in the same area last year.
In one of the deadliest attacks, 16 laborers had been killed by Balochistan Liberation Army in strategic Gawadar town in August 2010.
The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.
The region has been plagued by violence for over six decades, however, with separatists claiming it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan at the end of British rule in 1947.
Over the course of the last decade, the province has also faced a deadly wave of sectarian violence in which over 2,200 people have been killed.
The province is also a key route of CPEC, which aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.
With its 600-kilometer (373 miles) long coastline, Gawadar is a key deep seaport currently operated by China, which aims to attain direct access to Indian Ocean via this seaport.Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2018, 08:29