11 coalminers massacred in Machh terror strike
Labourers working in Pakistan’s coalmines are always in the news for tragic accidents at their workplaces but this time the story was totally different as a group of armed men attacked a mine in Balochistan’s Machh area and left behind a trail of horror on Sunday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Police said the terrorists took the coalminers to the nearby mountains where they opened fire on them, killing 11 of them.
Heavy contingents of police, paramilitary force and officials of the local administration rushed to the site in Machh, about 48 kilometres east of Quetta.
Security forces personnel have cordoned off the area after unidentified assailants opened fire in the Machh coalfield. Police officials collected evidence from the place of the unfortunate incident.
Rescue officials said that the injured have been shifted to a hospital in Machh for medical treatment. The condition of all the wounded was said to be serious.
Police authorities said the miners were on the way to work when armed militants kidnapped them and took them to the nearby mountains before opening fire at close range.
Moazzam Ali Jatoi, an official with the Levies Force, said six of the miners were dead on the spot, and five who were critically wounded died on way to the hospital.
Jatoi said an initial investigation revealed the attackers identified the miners as being from the Hazara community, took them away leaving others unharmed.
No group immediately claimed responsibility but a banned militant outfit has targeted the Hazara community in Balochistan in the past.
Television footage showed security troops surrounding a desolated mountainous area diverting traffic and guiding ambulances to pick up the bodies.
Security forces were also seen spreading out in the mountains to search for the perpetrators.
Protest in Hazara Town
A large number of people including relatives and family members of the victims stage a strong protest at Western Bypass in Hazara Town in Quetta.
They blocked the road and demanded immediate arrest of the attackers.
Langov seeks report
Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langov has sought immediate report into the incident from concerned authorities.
He said the government will go after these terrorists as attempts are being made to sabotage the peace in the province.
Condemning the incident, the minister the people in this heinous crime do not deserve any concession.
Imran Khan condemns
The condemnable killing of 11 innocent coal miners in Machh Balochistan is yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism. Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers & bring them to justice. The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the govt— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 3, 2021
In a tweet on Sunday, Imran Khan said he has asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers and bring them to justice.
The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the government, the prime minister added.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad condemned the incident and sought a report from Balochistan IGP.
A couple of months ago four colliers were killed in an accident when the rope of a trolley they were in snapped in the Lakhra coalmine at Jamshoro. The rope of a trolley snapped when the colliers were exiting the Lakhra coalmine, throwing them 400 feet down the mine.
The colliers' bodies were recovered following a three-hour hectic operation.
Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Fareeduddin Mustafa said arrangements to shift the bodies to their native places were underway.