Pakistan asked to send back bodies of 3 Afghans killed in Balochistan mine attack

Published January 6, 2021
Members of the Shia Hazara community stand around the bodies of 11 coal miners in the Mach area of Balochistan on Sunday. — AFP/File
Members of the Shia Hazara community stand around the bodies of 11 coal miners in the Mach area of Balochistan on Sunday. — AFP/File

The Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has written a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting that the bodies of three Afghan citizens, among the 11 killed in the mountainous Bolan district three days ago, be transferred back to Afghanistan.

In a letter to the ministry's Camp Office in Quetta dated Jan 5, the Consulate General said: "As you know, in the terrorist incident that took place in Mach area of Bolan district of Balochistan province by the anti-governments and joint terrorists of the two countries, seven Afghan citizens are among the victims."

The heirs of three martyrs have requested that their dead bodies be transferred to Afghanistan, the letter said. "Therefore, your esteemed office is kindly requested to contact the relevant authorities to grant permission for transferring the mentioned three corpses via the Chaman-Spin Boldak Corridor."

On January 4, eleven coal miners belonging to the Shia Hazara community sleeping in their room were held at gunpoint, blindfolded and trussed up before being executed by unidentified attackers in the Mach coal field area.

The militant Islamic State group or Daesh claimed responsibility for the killing.

The gruesome attack that took place in the mountainous Bolan district, some 100km from Quetta, sparked street protests and drew nationwide condemnation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, while terming it "yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism", ordered the Frontier Corps to use all resources to bring the killers to justice and assured families of the victims that they would not be left abandoned by the government.

However, the Shia Hazara community has blockaded a highway in Quetta with the bodies of slain coal miners, calling for the ouster of the provincial government and a judicial probe into the incident.

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