At least 14 people were lined up and executed in southwestern Pakistan after gunmen ambushed a bus and forced the passengers onto a highway early Thursday, officials said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack in restive Baluchistan province as “an act of terror.”
The attack took place as the bus was traveling on the Makran coastal highway between the port city of Karachi and the Gwadar port in the southwest, local official Jehangir Dashti told The Associated Press. He said that the passengers targeted in the attack were killed after the assailants checked their identity cards.
“In this tragic incident, 14 passengers were forced off the bus, they were lined up in a nearby open area and killed by the terrorists,” Dashti said. The identities of the slain were not immediately clear.
Security forces from the nearby town of Buzi Top were dispatched and had reached the area, about 375 miles from the provincial capital, Quetta, he added.
In his statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered authorities “to make every possible effort to identify and to bring the perpetrators of the barbaric act to justice.”
Separatists have for years waged a low-level insurgency in oil-rich Baluchistan, complaining of discrimination and demanding a fairer share of the province’s resources and wealth.
Other militant groups also operate in Baluchistan. Last Friday, a suicide bomber targeted an open-air market in Quetta, killing 20 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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