Seven barbershop workers were killed and one was injured on Thursday in Surbandar, Gwadar when unknown gunmen entered their residential quarters and opened fire on them while they were sleeping, police officials said.

Speaking to Dawn.com, Gwadar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Zohaib Mohsin said the incident took place at approximately 3am, adding that the victims worked at a barber shop in Surbandar, which is some 25 kilometres from Gwadar.

According to a list of the casualties shared with Dawn.com by the SSP, the victims hailed from Punjab’s Khanewal and Lodhran districts, while the injured belongs to Mian Channu, Khanewal.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

AFP quoted Muhammad Mohsin, a senior police official in Gwadar, as saying: “We are investigating the matter at the moment but apparently it looks like they were attacked because they were Punjabis.”

Following the incident, the police shifted the injured person and bodies of the deceased to Gwadar Hospital, SSP Mohsin said. He added that the area was cordoned off by law enforcement as action had begun to find the miscreants.

According to Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Hamoodur Rehman, the bodies have been shifted to their native areas via four ambulances. The injured has also been shifted to Karachi after medical aid was administered to him, he added.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti condemned the killing of the workers in Gwadar, calling it “open terrorism”.

He expressed his condolences to their families and said that their families would not be abandoned, vowing to provide all possible support to the families.

“We will chase after terrorists and their facilitators,” Bugti said, adding that there is no soft corner or place for them in Pakistan.

“Whatever force is needed against the terrorists will be used,” the chief minister said. He stressed that the writ of the state would be enforced in any case.

“Every single drop of the blood of Pakistanis will be accounted for,” he said.

Condemnations

Prime Minsiter Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and expressed his condolences to the victims’ families, according to a statement on X by state broadcaster PTV News.

“This incident of terrorism is a cowardly act of the enemies of the country. We are determined to eradicate terrorism from its roots,” the statement read.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi echoed similar sentiments, expressing deep sorrow and condolences over the killing of the seven labourers.

“The beasts who play with the lives of the innocent don’t deserve to be called humans,” Naqvi said in a statement shared by the Ministry of Interior on X.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zia Ullah Langau said the terrorists will be dealt with strictly. He noted that a report of the incident has been called for, and the incident is being reviewed from all aspects.

“The killing of innocent labourers is a cowardly act,” he said, adding that the terrorists will be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, the Balochistan government also condemned the killing and called it “open terrorism”, according to a spokesperson.

Administrative officers reached the site of the incident and were in touch with district administration, the spokesperson said. Families of the deceased are being contacted, the spokesperson added.

An investigation into the incident has been ordered, the spokesperson noted.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also condemned the incident, saying the “brutal killing of innocent workers is open terrorism,” according to a statement on X from the party’s official account.

“The people of the entire country, including Balochistan, are extremely angered by this barbarity; humanity is ashamed,” the post read.

The beasts involved in the crime should be brought to justice, Bilawal said, adding that Pakistan is committed to the complete eradication of terrorism.


Additional input from AFP

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