QUETTA: Armed militants have abducted four candidates elected unopposed from Balochistan's insurgency-hit Kech district, a levies official said Thursday.
The levies official, who requested not to be named since he was not authorised to speak to the media, said thirteen gunmen kidnapped the four councilors from Dasht Tehsil of district Kech.
He said the councilors were identified as Javaid Iqbal, Abdul Qadir, Saleem Baloch and Behram, all belonging to Balnagor union council.
All four councilors were traveling when their vehicle was intercepted by armed militants. “Since morning we are clueless about the whereabouts of the councilors,” said the official.
The incident comes a day after militants abducted two other councilors from Kech.
Abdul Rauf and Zafarullah of the National Party were returning home on Wednesday when five men on motorcycles intercepted them and whisked them away.
Local government elections are set to be held in Balochistan on Dec 7 under strict security conditions.
In district Kech, all candidates have already been declared elected unopposed as political parties and candidates put their heads together to develop understanding and avoid elections owing to looming security threats.
Kech, also known as Turbat, is the home town of chief minister Balochistan Dr. Malik Baloch.
There has so far been no claim of responsibility for the kidnappings, but Baloch separatists groups are known to be active in the area.
On Wednesday, the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) and Baloch National Movement (BNM) – both separatist political parties – announced a shutter-down strike on Dec 6 and 7, the scheduled date for the local government elections.
Also on Wednesday, armed militants kidnapped 13 workers of Uch power plan from the province's Naseerabad district.