14 passengers shot dead in southwest Pakistan

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest but least populated province. The attack took place on an isolated stretch of the main coastal highway

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest but least populated province. The attack took place on an isolated stretch of the main coastal highway

In a shocking incident, 14 bus passengers were offloaded and shot dead by terrorists on the Makran coastal highway in Ormara, in Gwadar district of Balochistan in Pakistan on Thursday.

They "stopped buses on the Makran Coastal Highway and gunned down 14 people", he said, adding that the four vehicles were travelling to Karachi from the coastal town of Ormara.

Initial investigations further suggest that the victims were first forced to reveal their computerised national identity cards (CNICs) for their identification, offloaded from the buses and then were shot dead by the assailants.

Information Minister Fawad Chauhdry earlier today said there appeared to be an "organised pattern" in the attack on members of Hazara community, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Hayatabad and the shooting on the passengers of the bus.

The attack was claimed by a Baloch separatist group. "They took them and killed them", Langove said.

Other militant groups also operate in Baluchistan.

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He expressed sympathies with the victims' families and ordered an investigation into the incident.

Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove told the media that the attackers used their fatigue as a disguise to carry out a routine check on the passengers.

Prime Minister Khan called the attack a "barbaric" act and urged authorities to make "every possible effort" to identify and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The massive infrastructure project seeks to connect the western Chinese province of Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan.

But it has also drawn its share of attacks, particularly by separatists who have long complained that residents do not receive a fair share of profits from the province's resources.

While no-one has claimed responsibility for the massacre, Baluchi separatists often target security forces and people from Punjab, who tend to dominate the ranks of the military stationed in Baluchistan whom the separatists are fighting. He said that coordinated terrorist attacks in the country are hinting at the involvement of the enemies of Pakistan.

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