BOLAN: Six people of the Shia Hazara community were killed and one injured when gunmen opened indiscriminate fire at their vehicle in the Mach area of Bolan district on Friday.
Mama Ghullam Hussain, a levies officer, told Dawn.com that four gunmen on two motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire at the vehicle carrying seven coal miners in Mach. Subsequently, six coal miners were killed and one sustained injuries.
"They belonged to the Shia Hazara community," he informed.
Hussain said the victims were travelling from Mach to their coal company when their vehicle was targeted by militants.” Gunmen sprayed bullets when the vehicle reached a speed breaker near Mach," Hussain added. He said the incident was of a sectarian nature since the victims were from the Hazara community.
The attackers drove off the scene after the attack.
Meanwhile, a huge contingent of Levies and police personnel reached the spot and the casualties were shifted to a hospital.
The victims are yet to be identified. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Militants have been targeting Shia Hazaras working in the coal mines of Mach since a long time. Similarly, members of Hazara community and Shia pilgrims coming from Iran have also been frequently attacked in Mastung and Quetta.
The Sunni-militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has repeatedly claimed the responsibility for killing Hazara Shias.
This incident comes a week after militants killed two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel escorting a bus carrying Shia pilgrims from Iran in the Dringarh area of Mastung district.
In a separate incident, armed militants killed one person and injured two others in Balochistan's militancy-hit Khuzdar district.
A police official, who requested anonymity, told Dawn.com that two motorcyclists opened fire at Zero Point Khuzdar and gunned down one person while injuring two others.
The assailants managed to escape unhurt from the spot.
These incidents have come at a time when the provincial government of Balochistan is preparing to call a multi-party conference to discuss ways and means to initiate dialogue with militant groups.