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10 construction workers gunned down near Gwadar

By Behram Baloch 2017-05-14
GWADAR: At least 10 men were killed and another was injured on Saturday when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on labourers working on a road meant to connect remote towns with the port city of Gwadar, the gateway to the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The attack came a day after Deputy Senate Chairman Abdul Ghafoor Haideri`s convoy was targeted in Mastung. The bombing,claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group, claimed 27 lives.

Officials said that the gunmenattacked labourers in two places on a road connecting the Pishikan and Ganz areas of Gwadar district. Theproscribed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

All 10 labourers belonged to Goth Haji Siddiq Lakha in the Kandiaro taluka of Naushahro Feroze district in Sindh. Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Naeem Bazai said the labourers had come to Balochistan to work on a monthlong contract.

`The victims include three brothers,` he said.

Lt Gen Aamir Riaz, commander of the Southern Command, went to Gwadar along with other senior officials to attend the funeral of the victims and their bodies were flown to their native village on a C-130 aircraft.

Qadir Bakhsh, an eyewitness, told Dawn the two armed men on a motorbike lined up all the labourers ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has finally announced that the intraparty elections will be held on June 11 under the newlyappointed election commissioner Senator Azam Swati.

The decision was made in a meeting of the party`s central executive committee (CEC) here on Saturday.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mr Khan said it also approved the interim constitution of the party.

The meeting passed a resolution demanding the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, he said and alleged that neither the ruling Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz nor the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was interested in granting the voting right to expatriate Pakistanis. He said the Supreme Court had also issued a `verdict` in this regard, adding that the PTI was considering taking the matter again to the apex court.

The PTI chief said his working on the road construction site and shot them. He said he was at some distance from the construction site when the attack happened.

Eight labourers were killed on the spot, since they were shot at from close range. The two assailants then made for another under-construction building near Pishikan, a small coastal town 25km from Gwadar.

There, they killed another labourer and injured two others, said Hazoor Bakhsh, one of the men injured in the second attack. The injured were taken to hospitals in Pishikan and Gwadar, where one of the injured also died.

Gwadar Additional Deputy Commissioner Jamil Ahmed said the road was being constructed by the provincial Buildings and Roads Department (B&R) from Pishikan to Ganz. `The incident took place when the labourers were working on the road,` Mohammad Zareef, a senior levies of ficial, told Dawn.

Hospital sources said all the victims received multiple bullet wounds. One labourer, who was shot in the leg, is currently being treated at hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.

The injured man claimed there were no security arrangements at theroad construction site, despite threats from the banned organisation. `The contractor did not take any security measures to protect labourers at the construction site,` he complained.

Dur Mohammad, the contractor who has been working on the 15km road between Pishikan and Ganz for over three years, was not available for comment.

Nine of the victims have been identified so far. They are: Mohammad Khan, Ali Dost, Shahband, Abdul Hakeem, Rasool Bakhsh, Abdul Waheed, Zaheer Ahmed, Mohammad Saddam and Mohammad Asif. One of the deceased men has yet to be identified.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, who is currently in China along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, condemned the killing of the innocent labourers, saying that those involved in this barbarous act would not be pardoned. He sought a report on the incident from the authorities concerned and directed that they be arrested as soon as possible.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti also condemned the tragic incident, saying: `We will not surrender before terrorists and will bring to justice all those involved in this brutal act.