Six labourers shot dead in Turbat

Published October 15, 2023
People gather at a local hospital in Turbat where the injured and the bodies were brought on Saturday morning.  — Photo provided by Abdullah Zehri
People gather at a local hospital in Turbat where the injured and the bodies were brought on Saturday morning. — Photo provided by Abdullah Zehri

GWADAR / QUETTA: At least six labourers were killed and two others inj­ured after gunmen barged into a house in Turbat during the small of hours of Saturday and opened indiscriminate fire.

“Two brothers, maternal uncle and his son were among the deceased,” officials said, adding that all belonged to Punjab and worked as construction workers in Turbat.

Police officials said the incident took place in Satellite Town, Turbat, when a group of armed men barged into a house and opened fire, targeting the labourers who were asleep in a room.

“Armed men used automatic weapons to kill the workers who were staying at an under-construction house owned by a local contractor named Naseer Ahmed,” a senior police officer said, adding that soon after receiving information, the police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies rushed to the site and shifted the bodies and the injured to a district hospital in Turbat.

“We have received six bodies with multiple bullet injuries, which caused their instant death,” hospital officials told Dawn.

They added the injured also received bullet injuries but their condition was stable.

Makran Division Commissioner Saeed Ahmed Umrani said that a local contractor had hired these workers for the construction of his house in Satellite Town. They were sleeping in the same house when the assailants targeted them.

“All victims belonged to different areas of southern Punjab,” Mr Umrani told Dawn when reached on the phone in Turbat.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hunt for culprits

Meanwhile, investigators have started hunting for the culprits through geo-fencing and evidence collected from the site, he said, adding that efforts were underway to trace the culprits involved in the killings.

The deceased labourers were identified as Rizwan, Shehbaz, Wasim, Shafiq Ahmed, Muhammad Naeem, and Sikander while the injured included Ghulam Mustafa and Tuheed.

Officials said that the injured were sent to Multan along with their relatives via an aircraft of the Balochistan government after initial treatment while the bodies would be dispatched to their native areas on Sunday after completing all medico-legal formalities in Quetta. According to reports, the injured were shifted to Nishtar Medical College Hospital in Multan, for further treatment.

Additional Inspector General Police Jawad Ahmed Dogar who reached Turbat after the incident said that a joint team, comprising officials of CTD, Special Branch, police and other agencies was being set up to investigate the incident.

“At the moment, our investigation is at an initial stage and soon the elements involved in this brutality would be brought to justice.”

A survey will be carried out in Turbat and other areas to collect data of labourers working in Makran to make arrangements for their security.

This was not the first such attack in Makran. In 2015, 20 labourers were killed when armed men attacked their camp near Turbat.

Condemnations

Meanwhile, Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Kakar, Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Domki, Home Minister Zubair Ahmed Jamali, Information Minister Jan Achakzai and PPP Balochistan senior leader Syed Hasnain Ahmed Hashmi condemned the killings.

Chief Minister Domki has ordered the investigators to thoroughly examine the incident from all perspectives and submit a comprehensive report.

While taking notice of the attack, the CM suspended the Kech district superintendent of police and ordered a high-level probe into the tragic incident.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2023

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