QUETTA, Sept 13: At least ten labourers were shot dead and four others injured by armed men in Dasht, some 30km from the provincial capital in Mastung district, on Thursday.
The banned United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for the killings.
The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) condemned the incident and called a shutter-down strike on Friday.
Official sources said that 15 labourers working for two construction companies were crushing stones on RCD Highway in the Omer Door area of Dasht when armed men on motorcycles came there and opened fire from automatic weapons. Nine people died on the spot while five others received bullet injuries.
“An injured died later in Bolan Medical College Hospital,” Deputy Commissioner of Mastung Irfan Shah Gharsheen said.
The dead were identified as Noor Mohammad, Aurangzeb, Mohammad Saleem, Barat Khan, Daro Khan, Khano, Yar Mohammad, Akbar, Nematullah and Abdul Ghaffar and the injured as Murtaza Khan, Barak Khan, Gulab Khan and Baran Khan.
Some sources said that the labourers were working at two different places and in the first attack five of them were killed and three injured while in the second attack four were killed and two injured.
Mr Gharsheen and Assistant Commissioner of Dasht Naseer Jattak, along with a heavy contingent of Levies Force and Frontier Corps, rushed to the site soon after receiving information about the incident and removed the bodies and the injured to Bolan Medical College Hospital.
“The attackers were four in number who were riding motorcycles and escaped after spraying bullets,” Levies officials said quoting eyewitness.
An eyewitness informed Levies officials that the armed men had lined up the labourers and after searching them, opened fire, killing them on the spot.
“We are investigating the incident,” Mr Gharsheen said. Contractors had not informed the administration before starting work in the area, he added.
Mureed Baloch, a spokesman of the UBA, told newsmen from an unknown location that his organisation was behind the killings.
The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party staged a demonstration in front of the Quetta Press Club and later called a strike for Friday.
The Anjuman Tajiran and some other groups supported the call.