Quetta: At least 14 passengers were picked out with the help of their National Identity Cards (NICs), forcibly offloaded from their bus and then shot dead by unidentified assailants on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, Balochistan early on Thursday.
The attack occurred in the Buzi Top area between 12:30am and 1am. According to Balochistan’s Inspector General of Police Mohsin Hassan Butt, 15-20 unidentified armed assailants in camouflage were involved in the attack. Provincial Home Secretary Haider Ali told AFP that the assailants had been wearing clothes that resembled Frontier Corps uniforms.
The gunmen stopped a bus travelling between Karachi and Gawadar, checked the identity cards of the passengers and offloaded 16 of them, the IGP said. According to a local official, some three dozen people in total had been travelling on the bus.
Fourteen of those offloaded were shot dead, while two passengers managed to escape and made it alive to the nearest Levies checkpost. They were subsequently shifted to Ormara Hospital for treatment. The bodies of the victims were recovered from Noor Baksh Hotel.
One navy and one coast guard personnel were among those killed, the home secretary confirmed.
Levies and other law enforcement personnel later secured the spot and launched an investigation into the incident.
The motive behind the killings and the identity of the victims are yet to be disclosed. No one has claimed responsibility for the killings.
Home Minister Zia Langove told AFP that a full-scale investigation had been launched into the attack and to track down the gunmen, who had fled the scene.
“Such incidents are intolerable and we will not spare the terrorists who carried out this dastardly attack,” he said.
A similar incident took place in Balochistan’s Mastung area in 2015, when armed men kidnapped about two dozen passengers from two Karachi-bound coaches and killed at least 19 of them in the mountainous area of Khad Kocha.