Militants kill 19 passengers in Mastung after forcing them off bus

Published: May 29, 2015
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File photo of Levies personnel. PHOTO/EXPRESS

File photo of Levies personnel. PHOTO/EXPRESS

QUETTA: At least 19 passengers were killed and one other was wounded when a group of armed men forced passengers off Quetta-Karachi passenger bus near Mastung in Balochistan on Friday evening.

Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani confirmed the death toll as he termed the incident an act of terrorism. “The victims were not settlers nor from Shia sect.”

Provincial Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said all the victims were ethnically Pashtun and were travelling from Pishin to Karachi.

After the incident, law enforcement agencies launched a search operation in the area to trace the assailants. Bugti said they were hoping for good news regarding apprehension of assailants by morning.

According a senior official of the Balochistan Home Department, armed men had intercepted two passenger buses – heading to Karachi from Quetta – in Gidrang near Kadocha, Mastung – just 45 kilometers outside the provincial capital.

“At least 25 commuters were forced off the bus on gun point,” he said, adding that the gunmen killed at least 19 passengers and wounded one other.

The official said five passengers were freed but they did not know about the status of the remaining eight.

Read: One-month operation: FC killed 29 militants in Balochistan, says minister

Confirming the news, a local Levies official in Mastung said that the assailants were armed and numbered more than 40. “It took place at 9pm”.

The official added that the deputy commissioner and other officials reached the site soon after the incident. “Their bodies have been shifted to Civil Hospital Mastung.”

Read: Militant killed, two security officials injured in Balochistan operation

Responding to a question, the Home Department said it was premature to comment on the motive of the attackers while the identity of the victims has not yet to be ascertained.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident.

According to eye witnesses, unknown armed men had blocked the highway in two places near Kadocha area on the RCD highway. “They stopped the buses first and from first two buses they forced off the passengers,” he said, adding that the driver of the bus was killed on the spot.

“We are inside the bus, nobody is here and the road has been blocked for the last three hours,” he told The Express Tribune.

“Two dead bodies of traders and an injured were brought to the civil hospital,” medics told The Express Tribune.  More than ten bodies were transported to another hospital in Mastung, he added.

A spokesperson for the Frontier Corps Balochistan said that they were fighting with some of the militants in the area. “Exchange of fire is underway in the area.”

Later, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar expressed sorrow over the incident. He directed that the FC should be provided with two helicopters.

Balochistan Governor also announced three day mourning in the province.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Pity
    May 29, 2015 - 11:58PM

    Where are those people who had raised hue and cry on Sabeen Mehmood’s murder?????Recommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQUE
    May 30, 2015 - 12:14AM

    Pakistan must on one hand crush this blood letting with force and with the other hand increase opportunities for education for all Baluchistan. Given the population of Baluchistan is small the Federal Government must make primary education free and compulsory in Baluchistan. Moreover Government should learn from Engro’s experience of involving local youth on the corridor project as then they will become stakeholder in the Pak China Corridor project. All problems cannot be solved only by boots, bullets and bayonets some times you also have to think outside of the box. May Allah guide us all. Recommend

  • Waseem
    May 30, 2015 - 12:22AM

    Use Pakistani drones to eliminate these anti Pakistan elements. Recommend

  • Azi
    May 30, 2015 - 12:44AM

    NS took notice of this, everything will be solved now. Its all this gov. is good at, taking notices and doing nothingRecommend

  • sabi
    May 30, 2015 - 12:49AM

    Mulah mulah is everywhere from Khunjrab right up to Gawadar.Crush mullah save Pakistan.Recommend

  • Rehman
    May 30, 2015 - 1:27AM

    Baloch terrorists on orders from their masters abroad now have started attacking the Pashtuns. This will be the beginning of the end of all Baloch terrorists because Pashtuns will not spare them.Recommend

  • kam
    May 30, 2015 - 1:44AM

    US built transatlantic rail in 1860s just the way Pakistan building economic corridor. Rail was under threat by red indians just the way corridor under threat from BLA. Pakistan can take lessons from that. All we need is a General Sherman and allied tribes.Recommend

  • Zahid
    May 30, 2015 - 2:20AM

    So sad have to take action against militantsRecommend

  • syed & syed
    May 30, 2015 - 2:53AM

    Mastug area is notorious and killings took place in ths are. First of all area be combed and army pickets be deployed and the man on duty be alert ready.Secondly all buses plying on this route must have a security guard and if he senses foul game by a mob or a individual on the road the bus must not stop and the guard should give his duty. A cell phone service be provided connecting bus and picket control room. Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 30, 2015 - 3:05AM

    NAP…..oh NAP……..where are you ? Recommend

  • JSM
    May 30, 2015 - 3:31AM

    Must be RAW?Recommend

  • Abdullah Javed
    May 30, 2015 - 5:43AM

    And everything will be settled after three day mourning!? That’s becoming a norm in Pakistan now, mourn for such days but never tried to analyze the incident and capture the culprits or learn a lesson or two from it. Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 30, 2015 - 6:16AM

    Why are those people wearing ski googles?Recommend

  • lancersboy
    May 30, 2015 - 6:53AM

    RAW out to create chaos in Baluchistan,Economic corridor is undigestable,so they have to try everything,from Pigeons to killings.Recommend

  • sabi
    May 30, 2015 - 7:50AM

    This is the job of people influenced by Moudoodi and Sayed qutb version of deen nurtured by rogue generals.Recommend

  • RH
    May 30, 2015 - 10:47AM

    @sabi, do you even know what is going on, there is no modoodi or qutb in this one. This is BLA terrorists killing non- Balochs.Recommend

  • awaam
    May 30, 2015 - 11:51AM

    @pity seems u actually liked that Sabeen Mahmood was killedRecommend

  • observer
    May 30, 2015 - 12:11PM

    The only solution to permanent peace in Balochistan is to give the Baloch the right to self-determination, the same that Pakistan demands for Kashmiris.Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 30, 2015 - 12:23PM

    Stop these senseless killings please !Recommend

  • Mr Baloch
    May 30, 2015 - 3:35PM

    Baloch and Pashtoon are brother of each others, they have same traditions, customs and opinions, they can’t kill each others because they have no common conflicted interests, their everything is exposed to the world, in Mastung event third man is involved this third man’s intrigue must be explain by media to avoid such things. I hope the Pashton will analyse this.Recommend

  • Truthprevails
    May 30, 2015 - 3:45PM

    If only RAW had put their efforts on their slums, their would be no poverty in HINDUstan. Instead they chose to create chaos in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 30, 2015 - 3:48PM

    RAW is in full swing in Balochistan.
    While, rapists are in action in India.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 30, 2015 - 3:52PM

    @RH:
    While the general public is having a hard time in getting basic necessities of life, these BLA terrorists are equipped with the latest weapons worth millions. Makes any sense? RAW?

    BLA = RAW in disguise.Recommend

  • SavePak
    May 30, 2015 - 3:55PM

    @sabi:
    Mullah does not have the resources to obtain such sophisticated weapons. RAW does!
    Open your eyesRecommend

  • SavePak
    May 30, 2015 - 3:57PM

    @RH:
    ** Correction: This is RAW killing Pakistanis, destabilizing economic corridor project and Pakistan at largeRecommend

  • someone
    May 30, 2015 - 11:39PM

    @Parvez:
    NAP LOL. Seems NAP is taking a nap. Pakistanis should find better acronyms.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    May 31, 2015 - 12:45AM

    @Mr Baloch …. Baloch people are most notorious people they are a big shame on the name of Pakistan …. You people you be lined up in row and killed you people are killing innocent punjabis and other people … if you people have gut then why dont you fight punjabi army …there you gave up u bast nation Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    May 31, 2015 - 1:26AM

    @Pakistani:
    You somehow neglected to tell us all about those “latest weapons worth millions”!!!
    Please identify those “weapons” or we may have to believe that you just make up this rubbish!Recommend

  • junaid
    May 31, 2015 - 1:31AM

    These low level insurgencies historically common in different parts of world. From UK to Russia and USA to Ireland. They are non existent in long rum.Just show patience and they will be sooner abandon ed by their Masters.Propaganda matters a lot for success.Pakistan advanced military and strength together with political backing will resolve this menace. The planning and laid back attitude nowadays to fight it out is awesome. Salute to military and political planners of Baluchistan for their success stories.Thumbs upRecommend

  • Asad
    May 31, 2015 - 6:50PM

    RAW funded militants..Recommend

  • syed shah
    Jun 1, 2015 - 4:06AM

    Pashtun Baloch fight weakens seperatists movement. Creating more enemies does not suit the seperatists. Why on earth seperatists would ever invite local populations opposition to their cause? Its not really as simple as it has been told offRecommend

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