Conflict & Justice

Balochistan bus attack: gunmen kill 18


Pakistani commuters travel on an overloaded passenger bus in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sept. 5, 2011.



Gunmen killed 18 and wounded 2 in an attack on bus riders in the Kech area of Pakistan’s Balochistan province today, Reuters reported. The passengers were day laborers from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa provinces who were traveling to Iran for work, CNN reported.

There were conflicting reports on what took place. CNN and Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that four gunmen riding two motorcycles fired on the bus, then fled the scene. The Associated Press and Reuters reported that attackers on motorcycles opened fire on the bus passengers when they stopped at a roadside restaurant in Turbat.

According to CNN, no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Pakistani officials said they suspect Baloch insurgents who oppose Pakistan’s government attacked the bus.

According to the AP:

Balochistan regularly experiences violence from both Islamist militants and nationalists who demand a greater share of the province's natural resources.

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"The cowardly act will not weaken the resolve of the government and people to defeat the forces of evil,” Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's office declared in a statement, according to CNN.

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