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Gunmen kill 16 in Pakistan attacks: officials

International Desk |
Update: 2010-08-13 19:35:10
Gunmen kill 16 in Pakistan attacks: officials

QUETTA: Gunmen shot dead 16 people in two separate incidents in insurgency-hit southwest Pakistan, officials said on Saturday.

The first incident took place in Aab-e-Gum area, 75 kilometres (47 miles) southeast of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, on Friday night.

"A group of 30-35 gunmen stopped the bus in Aab-e-Gum area, offloaded passengers at gunpoint and shot dead 10 of them," top provincial home department official Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP.

He said the bus was travelling to Quetta from the eastern city of Lahore and all those killed in the attack were Punjabi-speaking people.

A senior local official in Aab-e-Gum area, Ismail Kurd, confirmed the incident and casualties.

In another incident, two men riding a motorbike killed six people in Quetta city on Saturday, senior police official Hamid Shakeel told AFP.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Violence has recently surged in Baluchistan which borders both Afghanistan and Iran.

Three aid workers from US charity Mercy Corps and their driver were kidnapped in February in Qila Saifullah district, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of Quetta.

The driver was killed but the aid workers were released in July in good health after a five-month ordeal following negotiations between their kidnappers and tribal elders.

An official said at the time they were kidnapped by a criminal gang.

The province is rife with Islamist militancy, sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and minority Shiite Muslims and regional insurgency.

Baluch rebels rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region.

BDST:1823 HRS, August 14, 2010

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