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Monday Jan 11 2021

Know their names: The 10 coal miners killed in Balochistan

Hazaza family members staging sit-in in Quetta. File photo
  • The Hazara coal miners were kidnapped and brutally killed by Daesh militants.
  • The victims included seven Afghans as well.
  • 17-year-old Naseem was the youngest among the slain miners

On January 2, 10 coal miners were kidnapped and brutally killed by militants in the Machh area of the southwestern province of Balochistan.

All the victims had one thing in common: they belonged to the Hazara community, a marginalized ethnic minority which has been at the receiving end of many terror attacks in the past.

For the next six days, families of the murdered men sat on a main road in Quetta, in below freezing temperatures, refusing to bury the dead until authorities held those responsible to account and Prime Minister Imran Khan came to meet them.

Read more: Hazaras bury slain coal miners after week-long Quetta sit-in

Finally, on Saturday, government officials convinced the families to bury their loved ones after which Prime Minister Imran Khan assured them of protection.

But will the state keep its word? It hasn’t in the past. Will authorities finally apprehend the killers and stop the bloody onslaught against the Hazaras? While that remains to be seen, today, remembers the innocent: the brothers, the fathers, the sons, killed in cold blood on January 2.

18-year-old Anwer

22-year-old Sher Mohammad

28-year-old Hassan Jan

17-year-old Naseem

38-year-old Aziz

35-year-old Chaman Ali

36-year-old Abdullah

33-year-old Karim Baksh

35-year-old Mohammad Sadiq

18-year-old Abdullah Shah