TURBAT: At least 20 labourers were killed and three others injured when gunmen opened fire at a camp in Gugdan area of Turbat district early Saturday. Commissioner Pasand Khan Buledi said over 50 men attacked the workers camp at 1:30 am in Gugdan area in Turbat, a main district in southwestern Balochistan province.
Armed men arriving on motorbikes woke the labourers from their sleep before opening fire on them. 16 of the victims were residents of Sadiqabad area of Punjab and four were from Sindh’s Hyderbad city.
The bodies were shifted to DHQ Hospital in Turbat for autopsy.
Commissioner Makran division told that the labourers were working on a bridge at Sohrab Dam in Gagdan area.
Imran Qureshi, the District Police Officer (DPO) Turbat told media persons that the incident appeared to be an act of targeted killing. All the victims received multiple bullet injuries, he added. He further said that no levies personnel were harmed as they did not resist.
He pointed out that “it was a levies administered area”.
A senior administration official said the labourers were lined up and shot after the terrorists asked for their identity. He said that security personnel guarding the camp had fled when confronted by a large number of attackers.
Those injured were taken to a nearby hospital where their condition was reported to be stable.
No group has claimed responsibility of the incident.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch arrived in Turbat to chair a high-level meeting on the incident and take stock of the situation. The chief minister has directed authorities to arrest the attackers and had has announced Rs 1 million as compensation for the families of victims. Rs 50,000 will also be provided to people injured in the attack.
Dr Baloch has also directed that a helicopter be provided to reach the far-flung area where the attack took place.
A massive search operation for arresting miscreants was underway and army helicopter was also being used in the search operation.
Police and other security forces have cordoned off the area after reaching at the site, he said.
The commissioner said that all check posts and security stations have been alerted.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan telephoned Balochistan chief minister and discussed about the incident. He also condemned the attack and expressed condolences with the bereaved families.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reaffirmed government’s resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country.
He said this in a statement strongly denouncing the killing of twenty labourers in Turbat.
Expressing deep grief and sorrow over the incident, the prime minister said he has sought a report of the incident.