Members of Shiite Hazara community burn tyres during a protest after the killing of 11 workers of their community, in Quetta. Picture credits (AFP)
KARACHI: At least 11 coal miners from Pakistan's minority Shia Hazara community were killed on Sunday after gunmen kidnapped them and took them to nearby mountains, where they opened fire on them in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan, according to media reports.
According to police, the miners were on the way to work at Machh coal field when the unidentified gunmen kidnapped them and opened fire on them after taking them to the nearby hills, the Express Tribune reported.
Six of the miners died on the spot and five who were critically wounded died on the way to a hospital.
According to media reports, an initial investigation has revealed that the attackers identified the miners as being from a Shia Hazara community and the gunmen took them away, leaving others unharmed.
A heavy contingent of police, Frontier Corps, and district administration officials reached the site after the incident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the killing of 11 coal miners and termed the incident a "yet another cowardly and inhumane act of terrorism".'
"The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the government," Khan tweeted. "Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers and bring them to justice."
Balochistan chief minister Jam Kamal Khan has condemned the incident and sought an inquiry report from the authorities concerned, the daily reported.
"Those who targeted these innocent coal miners do not deserve any concessions," he said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the killing but banned Sunni extremist organisation Lashker-e-Jhangvi has targeted the minority Hazara community in Baluchistan in the past.