11 killed as armed men attack coal miners at Machh

Unidentified armed men take coal miners to nearby mountains, shoot them; PM condemns incident as "cowardly inhumane act of terrorism"

Salman Ashraf
Workers at a cold mine dig the sedimentary rock with pickaxes, break it up, and load it onto donkeys to be transported to the surface in Pakistan, April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Sara Farid/Files
  • 11 coal miners shot to death, four severely injured in Balochistan's Bolan district
  • PM Imran Khan condemns "cowardly" attack, says govt will not abandon victims' families
  • Balochistan govt spokesperson rules out security lapse

QUETTA: Eleven colliers were killed and four others seriously injured after armed men on Sunday opened fire at them at the Machh coal field in Balochistan's Bolan district.

Police said armed men took the coal miners to nearby mountains where they shot them. At least 11 were confirmed dead and the injured were said to be in critical condition.

Read more: 4 coal miners killed in an accident at Jamshoro coalmine

The wounded colliers were taken to the Machh hospital for treatment.

After news of the incident broke, police and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel arrived at the coal mine.

'Cowardly inhumane act of terrorism'

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the incident, referring to it as a "cowardly inhumane act of terrorism".

"Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers & bring them to justice," the premier said on Twitter.

"The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the govt," he vowed.

CM Kamal prays for speedy recovery of wounded

Taking notice of the Machh coal field incident, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal expressed sorrow over the loss of life and sought a report from the concerned authorities.

Kamal also directed the authorities to spare no effort in arresting those responsible for the terrorist attack, vowing for the elements involved in terrorist incidents to be brought to justice.

The chief minister also directed for the best possible medical treatment for the injured and prayed for their speedy recovery.

Balochistan govt rules out security lapse

Speaking to Geo News, Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said the incident was an act of terrorism. "Investigative institutions are probing the incident from every angle to determine who is responsible for this," he added.

Terrorist activities in Balochistan are on the rise, Shahwani said, adding that the Levies personnel are present in the area to provide security.

"[Law and order in the area] was satisfactory; hence, this incident wasn't expected," he said, adding that the area where the killings took place was quite large.

The Balochistan government official said security in the area would be increased after assessing the situation. He vowed that those responsible for the incident would be brought to the book.

'Incident of sectarianism'

Speaking about the tragic incident, Balochistan Interior Minister Mir Ziaullah Langau said the victims of the attack on colliers by cowardly terrorists could not be identified.

"This terrorism is an incident of sectarianism," Langau added. "We are mourning today on the killing of poor [labourers].

"Irrespective of the sect, race and religion, our innocent brothers were targeted. The evils behind the tragedy will be unveiled soon," he said.