—File Photo

MASTUNG: Nine construction workers lost their lives on Thursday when when gunmen riding on motorbikes sprayed bullets on them in Mastung area of Balochistan, DawnNews reported.

A group of four or five armed men came to the site of road building works in the town of Dasht, about 25 kilometres  south of the provincial capital Quetta, and opened fire, senior administration official Irfan Shah told AFP.

“The gunmen fled on their motorbikes leaving nine people dead and four injured,” he said, adding that one was in a critical condition. Police officer Mohammad Ismail confirmed the toll.

Four workers died on the spot by the firing while five later succumbed to their injuries , Levies sources confirmed.

Javed Ahmad, a local official in Mastung, said that the incident took place on Thursday in Mastung district in Balochistan province.

Mastung is located about 30 kilometers east of the provincial capital, Quetta.

The Levies sources said that the incident took place in 'Dasht' area of Mastung when government employed labourers were busy in their work.

Security in the area has been beefed up and troops of police and Levies troops have been deployed in the area.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but Balochistan suffers from ethnic tensions, sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims and a separatist insurgency which also targets non-natives.

Small separatist groups in impoverished Balochistan often target Pakistanis from other parts of the country. The separatists want autonomy and a greater share of the money derived from the province’s natural resources like gas and oil.

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