Thirty people have been arrested in connection with Saturday's killing of ten labourers on their way to Quetta from Lahore.
The suspects are still being interrogated.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the victims, who came from Lahore, Sargodha and Gujrat, have now been returned home.
They were travelling in a minibus when they were stopped at Aab Gum in the Mach area of Balochistan.
They were ordered out of the vehicle before being gunned down. beside the dead, five others were injured in the atrocity.
Elsewhere, police have arrested thirty suspects following the killing of six people at the Khilji Colony in Quetta.
Updated from print edition (below)
Gunmen kill 16 ‘settlers’ in brazen attacks
The security situation in Balochistan became grimmer on Saturday following the brutal slayings of 16 settlers in two separate incidents.
The attacks — carried out by gunmen in Mach and Quetta and coinciding with country’s 63rd Independence Day — set off alarm bells in Islamabad.
“A group of 30-35 armed men stopped a passenger bus in the Aab-e-Gum area, some 90 kilometres from Quetta, offloaded passengers at gunpoint and shot dead 10 of them,” District Police Officer (DPO) Junaid Arshad told The Express Tribune by phone. Another bus managed to escape from the scene. The two buses were travelling to Quetta from Lahore.
“The gunmen asked all the passengers to show their national identity cards before opening fire on them,” Arshad told The Express Tribune.
The DPO said that the incident took place on the National Highway and police were assisting Levies officials in investigating the crime. Law enforcers removed the bodies to a nearby hospital and later shifted them to Quetta.
“The incident took place late Friday night,”an official told The Express Tribune, adding that they have launched a manhunt for the attackers.
“All the victims were shot in the head and chest,” Dr Baqir Shah of the Bolan Medical College Teaching Hospital told The Express Tribune.
In another incident, two men riding a motorbike killed six people and injured three others in Quetta city on Saturday, police said. All the casualties were day-labourers and were returning home from a construction site in Quetta’s Khilji Colony when motorcyclists opened fire on them.
Police and paramilitary Frontier Corps rushed to the site after the incident and cordoned off the area. The casualties were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex Teaching Hospital, while the injured were referred to the Provincial Sandeman Hospital for treatment.
Medics said that all the dead were shot in the head. And that they had died on way to the hospital. They were identified as Bhutto Ali Sher, Suleman Siddiq, Raffiq Suleman, Arif Waris, Idres Abdul Rehman and Abdul Rehman Jumma, all hailing from Multan district of Punjab. The outlawed rebel group, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), has claimed responsibility for both incidents.
In another incident, a settler was attacked with hand grenade on Sakuran Road in industrial town of Hub on Saturday. Two brothers had suffered splinter wounds in the blast.
According to sources, Mohammad Hussain and Tajmul Hussain were present at courtyard of their house when unknown persons hurled a grenade. The injured were taken to Civil Hospital Hub for treatment where their condition is stated to be stable.
Meanwhile, an explosion took place outside a Police Training Center in Kalat, damaging the outer wall of the installation. However no causality was reported.
Police said unknown persons planted an explosive device along the outer wall of the PTC. Local police are investigating the matter.
Separately, unidentified men on a motorbike hurled a hand grenade at the office of the NCHD and fled. However no one was hurt in the blast. Cases have been registered and local police are investigating.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2010.
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