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Monday, March 21, 2011

Gunmen kill 10 road workers in Pakistan

Quetta, Pakistan (ANTARA News/AFP) - Gunmen on motorbikes shot dead 10 road construction workers on Monday in the restive southwest of Pakistan before escaping, officials said.

The incident took place in Palari area of Gwadar district, 1,450 kilometres (900 miles) west of Quetta, the capital of oil- and gas-rich Baluchistan province.

"At least eight gunmen riding four motorcycles opened fire on 50 road construction workers, killing 10 people," Baluchistan home secretary Akbar Durrani told AFP.

He said the dead were seven personnel of the military-run Frontier Works Organisation, which undertakes civil engineering projects, and three workers from the National Highway Authority.

A senior local administration official in Gwadar, Muhammad Talha, confirmed the incident and casualties. He added that the gunmen later escaped.

No one has so far claimed responsibility but the region has been hit by attacks blamed on Taliban militants, although sabotage of gas pipelines in the province are a trademark of nationalist rebels.

Impoverished Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is wracked by an insurgency waged by ethnic Baluch tribes seeking greater autonomy from the federal government and a greater share of profits from natural resources.

In October, Amnesty International called on Pakistan to investigate the alleged torture and killing of more than 40 Baluch political leaders and activists against a backdrop of Pakistani military activities in the province.

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