calendar Wednesday, 21 October 2020 clock
  • qbook

ISLAMABAD: Unidentified gunmen killed at least 14 people in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan on Thursday after ambushing a convoy of vehicles travelling on a major highway toward Karachi.

The vehicles were travelling to Karachi from the port town of Gwadar when they were ambushed near the small town of Ormara, about 250 km west of their destination, a security source said.

  • Qbook
  • qshow

The dead included security forces personnel who were accompanying the convoy, he said. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The bodies of those killed were shifted to a nearby naval base, local officials told Al Jazeera.

Zia Langove, provincial home minister in Balochistan, confirmed the details of the attack but put the death toll at 15 and added the ambush involved at least seven assailants armed “with rocket launchers and other heavy weapons”.

“The attack was carried out by between seven and eight attackers who fired at the convoy with rocket launchers and other heavy weapons. They escaped from the area,” he said.

Employees

Langove said the convoy of vehicles was carrying employees of the state-owned Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited. He said there were several wounded survivors but did not specify an exact figure.

The highway was temporarily shut down following the attack, as security forces launched a search operation in the area.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the incident was similar to previous assaults by armed ethnic Baloch separatist groups on convoys on the same stretch of highway.