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    Saturday, 13 May 2017

    10 labourers were killed in Balochistan's Gwadar district

    At least 10 labourers were killed in Balochistan's Gwadar district on Saturday as unidentified assailants opened fire at the construction site where they were working, Levies sources said.
    Unidentified gunmen on motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire on the labourers working at a road in Gwadar's Pishgan area, killing eight labourers on the spot, Levies sources confirmed.
    Two of the injured labourers died while they were being rushed to District Headquarters Hospital, they added.
    "All the labourers were shot at close range," said senior levies official Muhammad Zareef.
    The assailants attacked the men at two separate construction sites three kilometres apart along the same road.
    The accused then fled the scene after the attack. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
    Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti also confirmed the death toll while speaking to DawnNews. Condemning the incident, he said, "We will not bow down before terrorists."
    The slain labourers belonged to Sindh's Naushahro Feroze district. Their remains will be handed over to their family members later in the day.
    Frontier Corps, police and levies personnel have reached the spot and an investigation is underway.
    The incident occurs as Pakistan and China inks agreements aimed at boosting cooperation in various sectors between the two countries on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum, which is underway in Beijing at the moment.
    China is developing the warm water Gwadar port, a prominent feature of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan.
    The CPEC project — with an investment of $46 billion and the Gwadar port as its lynchpin — is billed to be a 'game-changer' and manifestation of strategic partnership between Pakistan and China.
    The government has deployed a Maritime Security Force (MSF) and Special Security Division (SSD) to protect projects under CPEC, including Gwadar and other coastal areas.
    The forces have been deployed to ensure safety of locals and foreigners working on CPEC projects.
    Balochistan, however, has long faced security concerns. Separatist militants in the province have waged a campaign against the central government for decades, demanding a greater share of the gas-rich region's resources.
    Security officials have said previously that militants trying to disrupt construction on the economic corridor have killed 44 workers since 2014, all of whom were Pakistani but often hailing from other provinces.
    Armed militants attacked at labourers camp in Turbat on April 11, 2015 killing 20 labourers. The defunct Baloch separatist organization Baloch Liberation Front had claimed the responsibility for the attack. Similarly, in April this year, four Sindhi labourers were gunned down by suspected militants while working on a road that was under construction in Kharan district.
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