14 passengers shot dead on Makran Coastal Highway

Pakistan 14 passengers forced out of bus shot dead in Balochistan

Unidentified gunmen killed 14 people in southwestern Pakistan after pulling them from several passenger buses, sifting through their identity cards and kidnapping them, a Pakistani official said on Thursday.

At least 14 were shot dead, while two passengers managed to escape the massacre and made it to the nearest Levies checkpost.

Almost 20 armed assailants wearing Frontier Corps uniforms stopped the bus and handpicked their victims in the dead of night, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported, citing senior Balochistan police officers.

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.

According to Balochistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohsin Hassan Butt, it was an act of "targeted killing".

A probe has been launched to investigate the incident.

The motive behind the killings and the identity of the victims are yet to be disclosed.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that an alliance of ethnic Baloch separatists claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the passengers and sought a report on the incident.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also condemned the attack along with the other recent instances of violence in the area.

"He directed the authorities concerned to make every possible effort to identify and bring the perpetrators of the barbaric act to justice". He also prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and forbearance of the bereaved families.

He vowed that the progress would continue despite of such cowardly attacks, and terrorism would be eradicated from the region.

In a statement, President Dr Arif Alvi expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives and said such attempts to spread mischief in the country will not succeed.

They "stopped buses on the Makran Coastal Highway and gunned down 14 people", he said.

Former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the attack in the Buzi area and said innocent people lost their lives and it can not be forgiven.

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