Sat May 13, 2017 12:35PM
The photo shows the site of a bomb attack in Mastung district, south of Baluchistan's provincial capital Quetta, Pakistan, May 12, 2017. (AFP photo)
The photo shows the site of a bomb attack in Mastung district, south of Baluchistan's provincial capital Quetta, Pakistan, May 12, 2017. (AFP photo)

Ten construction workers have been killed in an attack by gunmen in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan.

Officials said on Saturday that the gunmen, riding motorbikes, opened fire on a group of workers in Gwadar region.

“Two gunmen riding on motorbikes opened fire on a group of construction workers in Peshukan Ganz neighborhood of Gwadar,” local administration official Munir Zamari said, adding, “One worker sustained injuries and he is being treated at a local hospital.”

Balochistan, the largest of Pakistan's four provinces, has in recent months seen an increase in attacks that mostly target laborers seen as outsiders in the region. The ethnic Baloch people and others in the province, which is home to only seven million inhabitants, have for long complained that their share of the region’s vast gas and mineral wealth has not been fair.

The Pakistani government has managed to reduce violence in Balochistan through opening projects that could help develop economy in the region.

Pakistan and China began construction operations last year in the deep sea port of Gwadar on a project dubbed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project would give China the infrastructure to access the Arabian Sea. Islamabad hopes the project could create thousands of jobs for locals.

Reports said the Baloch Liberation Army, a separatist group with abundant records in terror activities, claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday. Officials said the slain workers, all from the province of Sindh, had been working on a road project near the Gwadar port but they insisted that the road project was not part of the CPEC, which is reportedly guarded by a 10,000-strong Pakistani force.

The attack on workers comes a day after the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for a bombing in the same province.

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